Many parents can remember the scene. John Belushi’s “Bluto” character comes down the stairs while a beatnik looking guitarist (Stephen Bishop) serenades a couple of lovelies with “I gave my love a cherry…” Bluto rips the guitar from the singer’s hands and smashes it. Then he turns to the singer and says, “sorry.” Fraternity debauchery was depicted well in that movie, and it is well documented that the debauchery off-camera by the cast was just as wild.
It’s no secret that fraternities for decades have been a mixture of polished excellence, and the lowest common denominators. Fraternities typically are a positive experience for young adults. But two recent episodes may make some think twice about the frat life at our univerisites.
It seems as if the typical kegger party has now been replaced with other substances. Two stories that have surfaced today from the weekend took place across the country from each other.
In New Hampshire, Eleven brothers of the suspended Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of New Hampshire were arrested Sunday in a police raid that allegedly recovered evidence of a significant drug operation at the off-campus frat house.
A 6A.M. raid revealed marijuana and pills that were sent to a lab for ID. 8 Frat brothers were arrested. These young men ranged in age from 19-21.
The university’s police director said that the arrests were “just the tip of the iceberg,” and said police will make more arrests this week to stop activity that is “not conducive” to the educational mission of the school.
“The university is committed to eliminating illegal drug activity on its campus,” Dean said. “It reflects poorly on a great institution, and we will continue to search out those who bring these dangerous and illegal substances into our community.”
TAKE NOTE: This was a fraternity already issued a five-year suspension for numerous incidents. According to university spokeswoman Erika Mantz, the UNH chapter of ATO was found responsible at a judicial board hearing for violating student rights, rules and responsibilities, including underage alcohol possession, excessive alcohol consumption, hosting a gathering where prohibited drinking has occurred and conduct that threatened or endangered the health of a person.
Across the country at UCLA,
An autopsy is planned on an 18-year-old man who was found dead in a bed at a UCLA fraternity house.
Police believe drugs and alcohol were involved in the death of Glen Parrish Jr. of Manhattan Beach, who was found dead at the Theta Chi house.
L.A. County Coroner spokeswoman Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said Parrish was visiting the UCLA campus.
“There’s nothing that suggests a suicide,” she said, declining to elaborate.
The college experience should not include death, substance abuse, sexual assault, or arrests.
Graduating high school and sending your child off to college does not mean that parents no longer need to supervise their sons and daughters. The excuse that “well these kids are adults” is just that, an excuse. When parents are still paying tuition or paying car and insurance bills, or carrying health plans for their children, they should be taking a proactive parenting stance.