Sororities and fraternities on campus have their work cut out for them during the first two weeks of the semester. On top of all the schoolwork they have, they also have to initiate and recruit new pledges into their organizations.
During those two weeks, panhellenic and fraternity councilmen aren’t allowed to drink or use drugs to show intoxicants aren’t needed to uphold the values of their organizations for new recruits, Ariel Tarosky, director of sorority and fraternity life at Ohio University, said.
But after those first two weeks, Greek life members participate in a disgusting display of hedonism: Blackout Monday.
Blackout Monday is the first day panhellenic and fraternity council members can consume any intoxicants after those two weeks of recruitment.
Celebrating an accomplishment is one thing. But Blackout Monday takes that celebration to the extreme. Greek culture already has a tendency to encourage irresponsible alcohol use, and Blackout Monday gives members an excuse to abuse alcohol for a school-related function.
Blackout Monday only encourages members to think of partying as a priority over school and personal relationships. It promotes irresponsible drug use just in the name: blacking out from alcohol isn’t a good look, especially for supposed professional organizations.
The “values” sororities and fraternities are looking for in their recruits are disregarded on Blackout Monday. They abandon those values in favor of showing freshmen that not only is this behavior okay, but it’s okay to do it during the week, when they should be more focused on school.
Greek life culture doesn’t have to be toxic. But events like Blackout Monday are the ones that let that toxic culture flourish on college campuses. It encourages students to disregard inhibitions about how much alcohol one should consume in one night.
Those traditions may be special to some, but from the outside, the whole event looks like an open invitation for men to be predatory toward young, debilitated girls. It is an open invitation for older pledges to manipulate younger pledges’ behaviors. And it is an open invitation for any student to participate in dangerous behaviors, because their role models — older Greek life members — are doing it too.
Shelby Campbell is a junior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Shelby know by tweeting her @bloodbuzzohioan.
A previous version of this column misstated information and therefore it has been removed. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.