Over the past two weeks, there have been two significant news stories about college students acting in a way that is irresponsible and disrespectful.
The first incident, captured on a cell phone video, included fraternity brothers from the University of Oklahoma chanting about lynching and using racial slurs. The second incident, which came to light this week, happened at Penn State University where fraternity brothers were discovered to have posted pictures of naked and near-naked girls, sometimes unconscious, on an anonymous facebook page. These were not one time incidents. That chant has been sung for years. That facebook page, or an earlier version of it, has existed for more than a year. It’s just the first time they got caught.
In the Oklahoma situation, the fraternity chapter has been disbanded and two students have been expelled from the college. At Penn State, the fraternity has been suspended for one year and, according to news reports, several students responsible may be facing criminal charges.
We want to take this opportunity to remind you that you have the responsibility every day to make good choices. You are building a personal and professional brand that is going to follow you into your career. How do you want people to think of you?
College students are faced with choices, large and small, every day:
- Go to class or sleep in?
- Go to a professor’s office hours or take a nap?
- Study or go to a party?
- Have another drink?
- Go back to the dorm with a guy/ girl I met tonight?
Both of the incidents listed above appear to have been related to alcohol. Alcohol use is prevalent on most campuses—the National Institute of Health reports that up to 80% of college students drink alcohol and about half of those students admit to binge drinking (drinking more than 4 or 5 drinks in two hours). In many cases, alcohol use and abuse leads to students making risky decisions, especially about sex.
Your safety, success and happiness are important to us. You have goals and we are here to help you reach them!
Please remember that you represent not only yourself, but also your college and Philadelphia Futures. We are proud of our scholars and we expect that you will carry yourselves in a way that shows pride in yourself.
If you have been making poor decisions or engaging in risky behavior, now is the time to make a different choice.
If we can be of any support, please feel free to reach out to your advisor in the Office of College Retention and Success. We are here for you.