I recently stumbled across an article regarding the ban that will be placed on Greek recruitment of freshmen at Princeston University starting in Fall 2012 (You can read the article HERE). Essentially, the reasoning comes down to this statement:
“We have found that they [Greek Organizations] can contribute to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege and socioeconomic stratification among students. In some cases they place an excessive emphasis on alcohol and engage in activities that encourage excessive and high-risk drinking. A major concern is that they select their members early in freshman year, when students are most vulnerable to pressures from peers to drink, and before they have had a full opportunity to explore a variety of interests and develop a diverse set of friendships. We hope students coming to Princeton will want to expand their circle of acquaintances and experiences, not prematurely narrow them.”
Interesting statement. At my university, first-semester freshmen could not join Greek organizations either. However, the reasoning had a scholastic basis. There was a minimum GPA requirement and incoming freshmen have 0.00 GPA until the conclusion of their first semester. Freshmen were allowed to meet with Greeks and express interest, but any formal steps in the initiation process were prohibited. Now, I don’t completely disagree that it could be beneficial for freshmen to wait until they get “the lay of the land” you might say. That first semester can be overwhelming and you don’t want to rush into anything too quickly. You want to develop a routine, get your grades in order, and observe the differences among GLOs. Yet, you could also argue that allowing freshmen to join will give them a better support system which will help them adjust to their new lifestyle. Pros and Cons to both, of course!
Also note- Princeton has stated that it does not even recognize any Greek chapters. It is confusing as to how that works, and how they are banning freshmen recruitment when they have not recognized any Greek organizations- I still haven’t figured that part out yet! I will update the post if/when I get that one sorted out. Until then- weigh in on your thoughts! Should freshmen be in or out??