Drinking Age

Moral Panic Alert: Ban Fraternities?

How about no


Animal House
Animal House

National Review's Katherine Timpf made a great point during a Fox and Friends debate about the vices of fraternity culture. Host Steve Doocy and author Alexandra Robbins asserted that frat life was becoming more dangerous based on little more than recent headlines. Timpf responded:

Well, this is all disgusting stuff right and that's why it's in the news, because it's disgusting stuff. Normal dude in a fraternity does normal stuff isn't really a headline. …

We should be shutting these frats down that are doing these horrible things, but I don't know if there's so much of an overhaul of the system, I don't know who you want to do the reforming or what specifically you are proposing, but I think a lot of it is going to end up resolving itself, especially with things like social media and there are a lot of good things about social media of course. …

Timpf was also specifically critical of Robbins' contention that Dartmouth's recent fraternity and alcohol reforms were worth celebrating:

Dartmouth has got a horrible idea in general with all of its new policies. It's banning liquor from campus, like that's going to work, no one is going to drink liquor on campus? They're just going to hide things and it'll be worse because they're going to do it in secret instead of out in public. Generally, I don't know why we're deciding that regulations are always better, not necessarily the case. We don't need to solve everything from up top.

I agree. Cherry-picking the headlines and acting like fraternities are an ever-worsening root cause of student misbehavior smacks of unfounded moral panic.

At the same time, there are reforms that I suspect would curb some of the worst tendencies of the college drinking scene.

NEXT: Jesse Walker on Riots and Conspiracy Theories

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  1. But frats are bad, m’kay? They force people to drink too much and are all rapey and shit.

    1. “Fraternity” is simply the name we give to the things cohabitating college men choose to do together.

      1. No homo.

        1. Ecce Homo. “I am a disciple of the philosopher Dionysus, and I would prefer to be a satyr than a saint.”

        2. Ecce Homo. “I am a disciple of the philosopher Dionysus, and I would prefer to be a satyr than a saint.”

          1. Sqrllzzz

  2. Generally, I don’t know why we’re deciding that regulations are always better, not necessarily the case.

    Because so many worlds would be rocked by the notion that blindly applying regulation to something could make things worse.

  3. made a great point during a Fox and Friends debate

    Might be the first time that phrase has ever been used

  4. I went to college on a (mostly) dry campus*. We did our drinking off campus with our easily-obtained fake IDs. I bet Hanover has one or two decent drinking establishments, as do Norwich and White River Junction. It’s so much safer to push drinking off campus and into cities and towns, donchya know!

    *There was a school-run “tavern” on campus that served piss beer, and only piss beer. And you can imagine they didn’t take “International Student IDs” as a legit form of identification.


  6. I was in a fraternity that was pretty well known for bad behavior. Part of the reason we did it was rebellion. The rules got stricter and stricter every year.

    If I’m going to be treated like a child, I’m sure as fuck going to act like one. A horny, drunken child.

    1. Lambda lambda lambda?

      1. Was actually on my campus. The real life LLL.

    2. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!

      1. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.”

  7. …But don’t ban sororities… There’s a kind of genius in this.

    1. Those aren’t sororities, those are safe spaces

      1. Safe to make a move!

        *high five*

        1. +1 kiln explosion

    2. I would like to imagine sororities are places where girls in nightgowns without undies spend their time frolicking with each other

      1. Be careful if you use a ladder to verify that.

  8. It’s banning liquor from campus…

    Anyone want to bet you see an increase in the number of drunk driving fatalities amongst Dartmouth students?

  9. They should just put all frats on permanent double secret probation.

  10. Ya know, weed was banned on campus when I was in college in the 70’s. As a result there was absolutely no pot smoking on campus or anywhere in the immediate vicinity. No, really, there wasn’t.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    1. I really didn’t know much about drugs until I set foot on a drug-free campus. I didn’t like the stuff and still don’t, but never gave a shit what others did, it just wasn’t any of my business. Holy Gods, everyone else was drowning in the stuff.

  11. A much better solution would be to ban feminists/SJW’s/Scaredy Cats. From everything. Then they can be perfectly insulated from the evils of the world of Man and never have to deal with the patriarchy again.

    1. If you want a vision of the future, imagine a puppy nuzzling a human face – forever.

  12. “Cherry-picking the headlines and acting like fraternities are an ever-worsening root cause of student misbehavior smacks of” politicians and bureaucrats wanting a convenient scapegoat so they don’t have to talk about the role their own policies play in creating the problems?


  13. If you force fraternities to accept women, that will totally civilize them. Do that.

  14. Banning alcohol, as if that will have any effect. Might as well ban rape while they’re at it.

  15. ‘Dangerous’ is fucking a chalice full of scorpions.

    1. I nominate you for greatest commenter of all time.

    2. Or as Warty calls it, ‘Tuesday.’

    3. Ooops. I read that as “‘Dangerous is A fucking chalice full of scorpions.” which would be a poetic and insightful double entendre.

      I withdraw your nomination.

  16. Animal house is a documentary to me. I can relate a brother to each of the characters in the movie. One of my brother’s actually was called Animal. Lots of crazy shit going on.

    And yes, the national fraternity took our charter away. Today the lot where our house used to be is a parking lot. Like Carthage, utterly destroyed and swept clean of the earth. I’m so proud.

  17. my fraternity was kicked my senior year for hazing, but man did we have a good time!!!

    This is just another example of control freaks wanting to banish fun and free choice. As they say with abortions… Don’t like fraternities? Don’t join one!!!!

    Yes, there was philanthropy, fun, brotherhood (cue: homophobic rubbish)

    It certainly enhanced the college experience

    B00ya fraternities!!

  18. No more fun of any kind!!

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