Strider Answers (Are fraternity parties safe for my freshman daughter?) - Part I
Q: Are fraternity parties safe for my 18 year-old daughter?
My 18 year-old... is planning on attending fraternity and other parties this coming summer before her freshman year. What are the risks and how can she best manage her safety?
Peer pressure, alcohol, relative inexperience with alcohol (and drugs), the bliss of youth, plus an organized group of young men focused on partying and sex with a property they control, is a volatile combination and a serial predator’s dream situation.
While our research on the fraternity system is still preliminary, we are confident of this:
1. A lot of violence is occurring inside the fraternity system – and it’s not being measured correctly.
2. School administrators are weak when it comes to enforcement of school rules. Just look at how often students are kicked our or punished – it’s rare.
3. The research stating that 25% of college women will be the target of a successful or attempted rape attack while in college is valid.
4. Law enforcement on campus is often hamstrung by school administrators and/or the ability to manage a serious investigation.
5. Law enforcement off campus generally does not want to intervene on campus, with the possible exception of murder cases.
6. Fraternity members and their alumni protect each other.
While there are many good people in the fraternity system throughout the nation, they do not police themselves in anyway. Thus, serial predators are able to operate freely in this environment.
One of our principles at Strider is to never tell anyone not to do something. We always want to point out how to do it safely, whatever it is. But in this case, we are going to make an exception. Fraternities are dangerous for women, especially freshman who do not have friends there or know how it all works. Our advice for young women is to avoid fraternity parties at all costs. These parties are organized for one primary reason, to get women drunk and have sex with them. If you’re interested in that (or if your daughter is), then party on!
PS If there is no way to keep her from fraternity parties, then read part II where we do answer your question with our best stuff.