Arizona State University is considered one of the schools with the most active sorority and fraternity lifestyles. Arizona State is not alone. As with this university and many others in New York and the east coast, new students from all over pledge to be a part of these organizations and seek to find a true identity for themselves while creating long-lasting friendships. Fraternities all over the country find themselves in a busy time when school starts in the fall. Along with fraternity pledging comes accidents in the forms of carelessness and hazing.
In a recent fraternity incident a student added grain alcohol to a firepit, causing the fire to rage out of control and burning a visiting student on her arms and legs. While that visiting student was rescued and brought to safety in a room of the house when the incident occurred, she was encouraged by others there not to report anything to the police, and not to seek medical attention for her injuries—her burns were severe. In other incidents, students and visitors have died from alcohol consumption, falling from balconies, and taking a bullet from gunfire when irate or disorderly students fire randomly into a crowd. What can be done to protect students from these types of incidents when there is no end in sight for fraternity and sorority parties?
While sororities and fraternities are a rite of passage for many young adults, it’s important that some of those at the party stay sober and safe for the protection of all involved. The parties don’t need to enlist a security guard, but one or two members should designate themselves the party chaperones just to keep an eye on the situation if activities become out of hand. This may be difficult to do when dealing with college kids who have over imbibed. The next best thing is to coach your kids on what to look for and what to expect. We can’t stop our teens from drinking or trying new things, but we can caution them of some of the dangers that occur in huge party situations.
- If they must drink, be sure they never drive, and urge them to never drink anything that was not open directly from its own bottle.
- Keep a charged cell phone handy and check in on occasion.
- Limit drinks to two when attending a party.
- Stay away from overcrowded areas. Balconies have been known to collapse; and alcohol-induced attendees have been know to climb balcony railings or fall over the rail.
Fraternities and sororities will continue to be around for many, many years, and they should provide an environment of memorable moments for your student. Staying safe will ensure many more opportunities for friendships and fun in the future.