Thoughts to challenge, celebrate, and elevate the college fraternity and sorority.
I believe the greatest threat is the lack of willingness of both undergraduates and alumni to commit to full pursuit of the ideals of fraternity/sorority. Each of the other poll options is certainly a threat, but correcting this one behavior addresses them all.There has been very little change in the risky behavior issues over the past 25 years. Insurance premiums are predicated on our unwillingness to decrease risk. New generations want something different and we're not always willing to fully analyze how their "wants" mesh with our founding principles. Institutional mistrust is a product of fraternity/sorority members lack of congruence between word and deed. Many others are trying to take the best parts of fraternity/sorority and make them workable, but skipping any part of fraternity/sorority will make it a less attractive, less impactful experience.
I agree with Phil. He's right in pointing out that, while most of the poll options are certainly threats, they are secondary to some deeper problem with the Greek community. I think there should be an option, "The Greek community itself."Call it tough love, but there aren't many institutions that have been around for as long as the fraternity movement that are under any sort of existential threat. We, as a society, need groups like fraternities and sororities: a place for sibling-hood, a collective of the best and brightest minds on campuses to work together for the betterment of our communities, a way to make a daunting campus a little smaller. Having the history and tradition and the national-scale infrastructure, the Greeks are in the best position to be doing this. And many do. But many don't. Even if negative mentions in the media are disproportionate, it is nonetheless to be expected. Greeks are leaders, and leaders are scrutinized. Therefore, the biggest threat to the Greek community is itself. A disparity between high-minded, well-meaning mission statements and a reality where people still don't pledge because of hazing rituals spells disillusionment for members and non-members alike.