I take this opportunity to respond to your column in your March 10, 2021 newspaper by an anonymous columnist that fraternities have no place on college campuses. First, I am disappointed that you would print such a hate-filled, misinformation opinion letter from an anonymous source. As we all know, anonymous sources are unreliable at best and totally false at worst, and this anonymous opinion falls mostly in the totally false category.
Obviously, the senseless recent death of BGSU student Stone Foltz was a horrific tragedy that should never have happened. Sadly, however, the problem is not fraternities but instead the problem is underage, overindulgent drinking by naïve young people. Sadly, young people die from overindulging in alcohol and drugs way too often in many different scenarios and it is wrong to advocate banning all fraternities because of one bad apple while ignoring all of the positives that fraternities and sororities bring to the BG Campus. It may be popular in the media to perpetuate the myth that all bad behavior that happens to college students are as a result of fraternity life; however, a realistic check of history will reveal that there has been hazing in many other campus groups across the country (e.g. sororities, marching bands and other groups as well).
As a naïve, small-town 17-year-old boy who was raised by my widowed mother, I was very fortunate to be a member of a fraternity at Bowling Green. Since my father died when I was very young and I had no older brothers to turn to for advice, my fraternity experience was one of the two or three greatest experiences of my lifetime. All four of my children were Greeks at four different universities and all had the same positive experience that I had.
The many positive experiences I had in my fraternity, such as making bonds of brotherhood and friends for life, learning how to operate an organization successfully, learning how to work together with many other people of differing backgrounds toward common goals, philanthropy and leadership skills contributes greatly to my adult successes in business and professional life.
The lifetime friendships of brotherhood and sisterhood formed in fraternities and sororities at Bowling Green last a lifetime and are simply priceless. When I pledged a fraternity at Bowling Green over 50 years ago, when pledging was really pledging, no one “forced” me to drink anything or put me in any danger whatsoever.
The senseless tragedy to Stone Foltz is simply unimaginable to me. My fraternity was founded over a century ago by divinity students and has a proud history as being the longest continually active fraternity on Bowling Green’s campus. With its “balanced man” approach, it has helped turn naïve 17 and 18-year-old boys into conscientious, goal-oriented young men that are proud to be successful Bowling Green graduates. The “bad apple” organization and individuals should be held accountable, but the only solution is continued education regarding substance abuse, hazing and accountability for misdeeds. Most fraternities and sororities are welcoming organizations committed to enriching the lives of their members in many different positive ways. Let’s “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” or believe anonymous, uninformed individuals.