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After 3 Colorado fraternities are shutdown, what are the pros and cons of Greek life?

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 09, 2018

BOULDER, Colo. -- Three Colorado college fraternities have recently been shut down over serious violations of sexual misconduct, harassment and allegations of drugging women.

With these fraternities making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Denver7 is going 360 on Greek Life and the pros and cons of joining a sorority or fraternity.

Joining a Fraternity is about making lifelong friends

Scott Albertoni had hesitations about joining a fraternity.

"I was hazed and made fun of and belittled on my hockey team and it was certainly an aspect that I was worried about," he said.

Now the president of CU's Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Albertoni said the experience has made him a better person.

"My fraternity brothers have pushed me, they've challenged my ideas. We've had tough conversations about sexual assault," he said.

About more than brotherhood, Albertoni said hazing is not a part of joining any affiliated frat on his campus. An old culture that he said is not totally gone on other campuses and is something he wants to see changed.

"Building men up, rather than tearing them down to become a brother. That's really what it's about and what we need to move to," Albertoni said.

Sorority life can lead to leadership opportunities

Alpha Phi sorority member Sierra Hubbard said she wasn't sure about rushing at CU either.

She said her decision to go Greek has given her lifelong friends and an opportunity to gain leadership skills as the Director of Greek Relations on campus. Skills that helped her land a job after college.

"That tremendously, tremendously helped me sell myself in that interview and then from the internship, I got the job," said Hubbard.

Greek life is expensive, and not needed to make friends

"I don't really need a fraternity or a sorority to be happy here. I know it has a bad reputation here at CU," said Junior David Broughton.

Broughton said he is creating his own story at Boulder and didn't need to join a fraternity to find his group of friends.

"I've met a host of wonderful people," he said.

"It's not really my thing or my personality, I can find friends other ways," said CU sophomore Anais, who did not want to use her full name for this story.

She isn't a sorority girl for a lot of reasons, but said the main one comes down to cost.

"I don't really want to pay that much money for being in another dorm," she said.

Is there a party culture?

Which brings us to another perspective we can't ignore. Is there a party scene culture of mistreating women at fraternities, of bad behavior that lead to the three Colorado fraternities being shut down?

Some argue, yes.

"Sometimes they kind of take it a little overboard with their hazing and how they talk to females," said UNC Greeley Junior Jalyn Johnson.

"I think the biggest misconception is we're all about the party. I think the party is a part of it because we are social organizations, but there's a huge component we're not telling as frequently as we should," said Stephanie Baldwin, Assistant Director for Greek Life at CU.

Baldwin said their number one goal: "is to build better people and that's the expectation."

She believes misconceptions and a few bad actors often overshadow the positive sides of Greek life.

"On this campus, I think collectively we're raised over $250,000 in a couple years just for various philanthropies," explained Baldwin.

"One misstep and you're back to square one," said Albertoni.