College is a big part of any person’s life. It will be the most toughest years of your life. For as long we can remember in school teachers are always saying what you do now starting from elementary school till you graduate high school will have an impact on your life for the next few years. From tv shows to movies they depict college has the most fun you will ever have and the friends that you make will be at your wedding some day. But before you can even get into college it is the grueling admissions process. A process many students and parents may dread. You have to register on the common app site, apply for scholarships if you want / need them, keep up a certain grade point to get into your school of choice, take and retake the SAT’s and ACT’s to get that grade for your dream school. If you are a musician or athlete keep up in those areas to hopefully get scouted for a scholarship. A lot goes into and preparing to apply to colleges that many people do not understand until they go the point. Going to school is very expensive, so for some people it is not an option, or having to take out students loans and paying them back till the day you die. A majority of the people that get accepted into college is done so on a fair basis but with the wake of ‘ Operation Varsity Blues’ that paints a different story. If you thought getting into school was hard, try fitting in once you get past the grueling admission process. There are many stories we hear about sororities and fraternities hazing and doing unspeakable things that cause national attention. And Operation Varsity Blues and hazing and greek life in general is a social issue because we have friends and family who are in or going through the college process, with it being spring many students are finalizing where it is they want to go next fall, and with the scandals going on it may hinder on that choice if the school they want to go to is involved in such acts.
If you ask anybody who has been watching the news for the past month they have definitely heard about the biggest college scandal to ever exist. On March 12 of this year that included universities of Stanford, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, University of San Diego, University Of Texas, Wake Forest, Yale and Georgetown University. At the centerfold of the scandal is a man name William Singer. He organized the whole operation from the wealthy parents contacting him to setting them up to various other people in the scheme to override the system.Some of the parents paid anywhere between $200,000 and $6.5 million to ensure that their child got admitted to the school of their choice. Singer helped wealthy parents cheat on standardized tests for their children, and he bribed college coaches to falsely designate the children as recruited athletes, smoothing their path to admission
Though there were at least 50 people were charged with in a nation wide scandal to gain access to the elite schools above in exchange for money and bribery. There were lawyers, business owners, and doctors involved. Of the whole scandal 2 names have been plastered on repeat in the news and throughout the case. Lori Laughlin and Felcity Huffman. Lori of the beloved Aunt Becky from full house, whose on the day this broke #aunybecky was trending. It was such a shock to so many people because they ever thought nor pictured her and her husband who is also charged Massimo Giuanni in doing something like this. And Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives. Those charged include wealthy and powerful parents accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes, exam administrators and athletic coaches accused of manufacturing students’ achievements, and private admissions counselors accused of coordinating it all. Lori and her husband Massimo who had a very successful line at target for years got caught when it was revealed that they paid a whopping $500,000 for their two daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli to get into the University of Southern California on a rowing scholarship but the two have never rowed in their life. Olivia is an social media influencer who has almost 2 million followers on youtube and 1.4 million on instagram. She has lost various partnerships with brands like Sephora, and Tresemme, and her clothing line with Princess Polly is no longer available. She’s also worked with other brands like Amazon, Clinque, TooFaced, those of which will never work with her again. Olivia is not the only one who lost work opportunities and deals. Days after the scandal came out her mom got fired from the Hallmark channel where she was in a few Christmas movies and a series, called When Calls the Heart, and will no longer be apart of Netflix’s Fuller House. Days following their arrest they were each released on a $1 million bond, where they used their house as a collateral. Their daughters are reportedly furious at their parents and what they did. They ruined their lives, and especially for Olivia who is on social media and has her own business, what her parents did ruined all of that for her. Their lives will never be the same. Their brand is tarnished. All she really cared about was her Youtube channel and brand deals. Olivia has publicly stated numerous times she doesn’t care about school. She would much rather make Youtube video that go to school. In one of her Youtube videos she said “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all,” she says in comments about “the whole college thing.” But I do want the experience of like game days, partying. I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” and capitalized on her campus presence by posting content sponsored by Amazon, apologized after commenter backlash, calling her remarks “stupid” and “super-ignorant.” (Dicker 2019)
A few years before the scandal broke Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy made a $15,000 donation to the Key Worldwide Foundation. A bookkeeper for the charity wrote back saying that the money would help “provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth.”
But the foundation, prosecutors said on Tuesday, was little more than a conduit for a massive SAT-fixing and college admissions-rigging scheme. And the youth helped by the payment was far from disadvantaged: She was the couple’s elder daughter” (Deb 2019). The money that went to the fake charity was to pay for her daughter Sophia’s SAT score would be higher. She was granted extra time to take the test and the proctor that was with her helped change the answers on the exam to raise her grade. As of April 8, 2019 Felicity and 13 other parents have pleaded guilty of using bribes and other forms of fraud and other forms of bribe.
‘They then arranged for Huffman’s daughter to take the SAT at a location controlled by an administrator who had been bribed by Singer, the complaint states. Riddell, the brains of the operation, then flew from Tampa to California to cheat on the test for Huffman’s daughter. Huffman’s daughter received a score of 1420 out of a maximum of 1600 on the SAT, a score about 400 points over her Preliminary SAT exam a year earlier. Huffman later discussed the scheme in a recorded phone call with Singer, the complaint says.’ (Levenson)
The fact that these wealthy parents have an obscured amount of money they can use it to get them legit tutors and people to help them excel. Because of all the parents involvement in this scheme other students who are way more qualified did not get the spots they deserved and worked for to get into these schools. It affects all of us because we all know how the rich and famous are already ahead using their names to get them anything they want. But the fact that they use their money to buy their child a spot into a school they do not deserve to go to, proves to show change needs to be lighted among the college admissions process. There are so many students who have tutors and work three jobs to be able to afford to go to school. They may have had a child young and stopped going to school and owence they got a bit older they wanted to finish school to set a good example.
Social life is an important part of any college career. But some people in the college search only limit there list of schools to one that include greek life. Even going through my social media of people from high school I see so many people joining a fraternity or sorority. I understand why someone may want to join. No matter what organization you end up joining, there is going to be at least 50 people in currently from your bigs to gbigs and your family. You are bound to make at least one friend. In the USA today article written by Nicole Glass states that about 85% of Fortune 500 executives were apart of greek life. Other benefits include, helping make friends, to build their resumes, partying, or to learn leadership skills, or the connections that can be made when it comes to job searches, you create a network. Greek life goes all the way back to 1825 where since then only 3 of the U.S. presidents were not part of a fraternity. Something that all greek organizations are taught and told is that hazing is a big no. Joining such fraternities and sororities come with initiations, rituals and ceremonies that new pledge members must follow and complete to be fully accepted as a sister or brother. Some school chapters take it way too far with what pledge members have to do to gain access and their approval from their soon to be brothers or sisters. But endangering your life just to prove to them you are worthy is no worth it, especially if it costs you your life, like it does too so many kids across the country. Going through the new member process and proving your worth joining such chapter is a critical time for any new member when they take it too far, that’s it. The problem is that the college’s do not do such a good job of watching over such organizations is when bad things happen. Or when someone dies that’s when everyone agrees some kind of change needs to be made. In the article written by Cheryl Drout and Christie Corsoro titled ATTITUDES TOWARD FRATERNITY HAZING AMONG FRATERNITY MEMBERS, SORORITY MEMBERS, AND NON-GREEK STUDENTS, they explain initiation rituals as commonly accepted aspect of Greek and other group oriented organizations. In the context of their organizations, they can often be seen as an exaggeration of the prevailing subgroup norms. Initiation rituals, or pledging, are often ceremonial, even mundane. Hazing activities, on the other hand, are typically officially condemned but nevertheless may be unofficially practiced by such organizations. Hazing typically involves risky behavior, such as intensive drinking, or potentially life threatening activities. Hazing, which is officially banned by all national Greek organizations, frequently comes to the public’s attention through the popular news media when the activities become fatal. (Drought & Corsoro 2003) If you are a college student or have been in the past, think about the parties that you go to. There is no one there monitoring and watching how much drinking goes on, which leads to drugs and sexual assault. Another issue is a lot of sexual assaults happen at these kind of fraternity parties and no one is holding them accountable. At the Alfred University Chuck Stenzel, locked in a dark car trunk, felt stinging cold on his bare arms. At least, he thought, Jack Daniel’s is keeping me warm.
It was a lung-crystallizing night, just 9 degrees. Wearing only T-shirts, three shivering young men — cramped in the back end of the old blue Chevy. Each pledge had been handed a pint of bourbon, a bottle of wine and a six-pack of beer. They were locked up until they drank all of it. More beer drinking games followed at the party. The fraternity brothers wanted the pledges to get sick and throw up, to fulfill a traditional part of their initiation.
Hazing is illegal in New York State. Members are sworn to secrecy and take brotherhood and sisterhood very seriously. It is a violation of their ‘code’ to speak of what happens when you go outside the walls. This proves to be true when Louise Continelli of the Buffalo News says Greeks get very upset when other Greeks or ex-Greeks reveal hazing practices,’ says Nuwer, who also addresses hazing in athletics, the military and secret adult organizations. Almost all Greeks take oaths not to reveal fraternity secrets, and so they regard whistleblowers as traitors — pure and simple. (Continelli 1991) Despite a long history of injury, death, and litigation, hazing within fraternities remains both a widespread and commonly accepted practice on most college campuses. Allan and Madden (2008) found that 55% of students participating in clubs, organizations, and sports teams experienced hazing. The most widely reported forms of hazing include forced alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation, and forced sex acts. (McCreary, Bray, & Thoma 2016) In some more recent news in June of 2018, at Louisiana State University after Maxwell Gruver died was force to drink alcohol as part of an initiation rite. Before he died he was called to the Phi Delta Theta house, that he was rushing and had to participate in something called “Bible Study’ where the pledges are asked a series of questions of the frats history and if they get it wrong they have to drink alcohol. They also had to participate in wall sits, where members walked across there knees. By early morning end he had a very weak pulse and they were not sure he was breathing or not. He was eventually taken to a hospital and later died. From his death the Phi Delta Theta house was suspended and Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana signed into law an anti-hazing bill that would make it a felony for those involved in hazing that resulted in death, serious bodily harm, or life-threatening levels of alcohol. And students found guilty could land in a Louisiana jail for up to five years. By the time an autopsy was done his blood alcohol level .495%. What makes this organization so alluring is the fact that they have these age-old rituals, shrouded in secrecy, that dictate how they gather, greet each other and initiate their young pledges. Being apart of something is something we all crave, something some people would literally die to be apart of. `
Another hazing incident plaguing universities all over is the death of Andrew Coffey. He was pledging Florida State University Pi Kappa Phi, where at a house party he was forced to drink an entire bottle of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon. And from that he died.
Both the college scandal and the hazing through fraternities that kill many students in schools across the nation, enough is enough. These two cases prove to be social issues because once the news break, people demand for a change.it affects how people within the community act and and feel. What they want to do with their future, which college to go with, they may question if they are going to be given a fair 100% chance of getting in on their own merits and accomplishments made all through high school, and with the hazing at fraternities and sororities, they need to be monitored better. Parents are not going to want to send their kids to a school that has a reputation of hazing with the fear that their child may be affected by it. With the admission scandal people are demanding that they change the admissions process and realize that people have been slipping through the cracks. It makes over achieving and straight A students think if they did not get into a good school is it because some other kid’s family put down more money or had an unfair advantage in the process? It highlights the inequalities that’s in the education field and how the wealthy and famous buy there way in and people of lower status get rejected time and time again. With the hazing there are websites and groups who go around and spread the word of hazing and most schools have anti hazing restrictions. , “The difference is, we’ve never had parents involved before. Fraternities and sororities have never partnered with parents who have lived this devastation,” and their stories are having a huge impact on students. There are campaigns that state “ these hands don’t haze” to show support of the cause and how they recognize it does happen but at this school there is absolutely no place for it . With all these cases coming into light, parents feel they need to step in and help. They are obviously devastated that there child they have raised, goes away to school and joins a sorority or fraternity and they treat like dirt, and end up dying proving their worth through ridiculous hazing activities that should not even be a thing. There is an organization called the National Panhellenic, that oversees these organization and parents have recently teamed up with them and want help create a change.
They all agree that will all the deaths the past couple of years on hazing, some serious changes need to be made. With the devastation that losing a child brings through hazing, the parents do not want it to happen anymore. That is why parents partnering with them, they hope to spread the word. Even for people who had been hazers, that is in the past, what you do now is what matters going forward.