‘Frat Culture’ Label Unfairly Characterizes Greek Groups

To the editors:

As a brother of Harvard’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, I am deeply offended by Nicholas F.B. Smyth’s derogatory use of “fraternities and sororities” in his comment (“The Plympton Street,” Nov. 16). Smyth’s incorrect usage of the Greek terms stems from his illogical tautology that “excessive drinking and drunken behavior” define fraternal culture. Smyth’s association of rowdiness and drunkenness with the Greek system is completely ignorant. Across the nation, fraternity and sorority members collectively give hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours per year. They also consistently maintain very high scholarship ratings on college campuses. With regard to social scenes, many colleges across the nation rely on the Greek system for an active nightlife.

While Final Clubs consist only of men, they are not fraternities in the Greek system.


November 16, 2005