FSPAC Statement on The Atlantic Cover Story

Last week, The Atlantic published a lengthy cover story examining some safety-related elements of the collegiate fraternity experience. The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) is disappointed that this article failed to accurately portray the realities and benefits of fraternal membership for today's student leaders. Among our concerns about the article are the following:

  • We are disappointed that The Atlantic article implies that membership in a fraternal organization places students at greater risk of physical injury than students who do not join our groups. There is no factual evidence cited for this baseless assertion, likely because such evidence does not exist. Conversely, there is substantial evidence linking membership in our organizations to improved academic achievement, retention and higher graduation rates than the general student body. That is why membership in fraternities and sororities is at an all-time high.
  • College fraternities and sororities are leaders in the fight against sexual assault and campus rape. We spend significant time and resources educating students about this important topic each year and are proud of the role our students and alumni leaders play in raising awareness about this issue around the country.
  • To the extent the article focuses on hazing as a campus problem it does not recognize that fraternities and sororities spend more time, money and effort fighting to eradicate hazing in all student groups than any other organizations.
  • We appreciate that the article noted how important the fraternity/sorority community is to solving the affordable housing crisis that exists for many college students nationwide. Our housing is home to 250,000 students nationwide and provides an invaluable and irreplaceable resource for host institutions in need of quality student housing.
  • Universities and fraternities have complementary educational goals and share a strong interest in working together to provide a comprehensive support system for the development of students in our organizations.
  • The article discusses at length the long history of fraternal organizations on college campuses but does not recognize why we endure. We remain trusted partners in higher education nationwide because each year we provide an outstanding values-based experience that allows hundreds of thousands of students to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially into the leaders our nation will need in the future. When The Atlantic chooses to focus on the negative actions of a handful of incidents involving a very small number of members, they miss the bigger picture about how valuable the fraternity experience has been to generations of students.

The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) is a bipartisan organization dedicated to the election of federal officials who share our belief that the fraternity experience provides today's students with the skills needed to be tomorrow's leaders. For further information about FSPAC, please visit www.fspac.org.