For the first time ever, Virginia Tech has released a task force report on fraternity and sorority life at the university.
It details both the positive and negative aspects of Greek life on campus.
Like many incoming students at Virginia Tech, Peyton Dexter has plans to rush a fraternity.
“I’m thinking of working on my grades first semester and seeing if I could rush after that,” says Dexter.
But for right now, the 18-year-old is undecided about which fraternity to rush. Virginia Tech hopes a new report released this week will help students like him decide.
“Really what this is, is something that takes a very deep, honest look. A lot of transparency so that they’re making good decisions,” says Tracy Vosburgh, a Virginia Tech university spokesperson.
The report warns of eight suspended fraternities that continue to operate off campus without university recognition.
“It would definitely influence my decision if they’re not in good standing with the university. I don’t think I would rush those,” Dexter.
The report’s findings show some advantages to joining a fraternity or sorority. Students who participate in fraternity and sorority life, for instance, typically outperform the general student population academically.
But the report also notes issues with Greek life on campus, such as a lack of diversity. In the case of on-campus fraternity and sorority housing, white students account for 83% of residents.
“The commitment to diversity and inclusion is 24/7, 360 for the rest of our lives. So there is not a place on this campus where we are not committed to taking a look at our diversity and our inclusion and doing the best work that we can do,” says Vosburgh.
The report also notes incidents of hazing and dangerous alcohol-related behavior.
“I actually had lunch with one of my friend’s neighbors and we asked him the kind of stuff he had to do to get into the fraternity, and he wouldn’t tell us, so there’s definitely some uncertainty about that,” says Dexter.
To address its findings, the report has made several recommendations, including releasing a study of fraternity and sorority culture every three years.
Virginia Tech’s scorecard presently lists 22 fraternities and 19 sororities that are in good standing.