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Thesis examines alcohol culture on campus

Fraternity and sorority life: an examination of alcohol education programs on collegiate drinking patterns

A Page – 2017 –
 Description: Thesis (MA, Education (Higher Education Leadership))–California State University,
Sacramento, 2017. Show full item record. Files in this item.  This item appears in the following
Collection(s). Sacramento Masters Theses [1597]. Search DSpace. 
Page, Abigail
Date: 2017-06-07


The espoused characteristics of fraternal organizations support the mission and intent of higher education to provide an ideal community for students to grow personally, professionally, and academically. Contrary to the purpose of fraternal organizations, membership is a contributing factor of substance abuse, poor academic performance, intolerance for human differences, and involvement in illegal activities, such as hazing, physical abuse, and sexual assault (Perkins, Zimmerman, & Janosik, 2011). The lack of congruence between the organizations values and behavior of members has demonstrated that the presence and influence of fraternities and sororities is not consistently beneficial to an institution. Peer norms and socialization heavily impact organizational structure and culture. The influence of peer norms facilitates the way members are socialized in the organization and set the foundation for behavior. Personal characteristics may encourage individuals to self-select an organization reflective of their own drinking patterns, however, the accepted and consistent behaviors within the organization will establish the overall culture. Greek organizations are at the center of the campus alcohol culture with enormous influence on campus wide drinking and a successful intervention to decrease this alarming degree of drinking in the Greek system would be a prerequisite for addressing college-drinking problems (Park, Sher, Wood, & Krull 2009). Thus, understanding the alcohol education resources available to students in fraternities and sororities, and the ways in which they are utilized, is vital to reducing harm associated with alcohol misuse. To reduce harm associated with alcohol misuse among students in collegiate fraternities and sororities, alcohol education programming must be effective, personalized to the needs of the student body, campus, and greater community, and accessible for students in fraternities and sororities.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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