MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Anyone who pays to attention to student life on many college campuses – large and small – knows that alcohol abuse, inappropriate sexual activity and hazing can happen anywhere. Most of the time, these problems are linked to Greek fraternities. When they do occur, college and university officials have a duty to act – and act quickly – sometimes by expelling a Greek organization from campus.
Which is why a bill introduced in the Tennessee legislature last week to ban fraternities and sororities at state colleges and universities is unnecessary.
The bill is sponsored by Representative John DeBerry and Senator Reginald Tate. Both are Memphis Democrats and both are going completely overboard to solve a problem that can be addressed without another state law.
DeBerry insists the legislation is necessary to eliminate the Animal House mentality on campuses. He says hazing incidents tied to fraternities and sororities have gotten out of hand.
But critics rightfully argue that the bill is misguided and very likely unconstitutional. That would be up to a court to decide, but it should not have to come to that. This bill should go nowhere.
Instead, college leadership should do what it is hired and paid to do – maintain a safe campus environment and take aggressive action when that safety is disturbed.
I don’t doubt that DeBerry and Tate have good intentions, but this is just not the way to go.
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