I went to a school that had next to no socializing outside of the academic day -- my school was a commuter school that packed up and disappeared on the weekends. Instead of entirely missing out on what I then believed to be the point of college, ie binge drinking and finger banging, I would hit up some nearby friends I went to high school with who attended a really good school that had a boisterous Greek scene. It was relatively small scene, popularly known to be around 500 of the 4500 students, but that didn't negate the indomitable urge to drink to complete excess several nights a week that seems to be present in almost every 18-22 year old.
I had this outsider's perspective on this group for about 3 years while I was visiting these friends. One frat I became somewhat close with and so I'd at least start my nights there, if not spend entire weekends with. I got to see this craziness, this reckless irresponsibility night after night, without having signed up for any of it. The roof/porch drinking, the ladder climbing, garden wall balancing act, the sticking-random-things-up-one's-ass, the questionable hooking up, the fights, the falls, all done while completely sauced, all this shit really does happen. And as someone who strives to be an aware and empathic and responsible person, all the while trying to have fun, it sometimes really rubbed me the wrong way, how everything was always so turned up to 11 out of 10 and no one gave a second thought.
I had and still have some of the thoughts beautifully articulated in the article, and many conversations with friends about how unsustainable all this behavior is, but ultimately we're only in control of ourselves, we can't control any of these other people or the political and cultural landscape that makes these things happen, so let's LOL and join the fun until we graduate.
This article does more than articulate some of our rambles and thoughts, but does a good job of revealing some of the powers at play and creating a sense of alarm about all this. An alarm that I think any reasonable parent or donor who read this could get behind. And it's hilarious at times, sharp at others. This article describes a problem, a growing problem, that doesn't seem like it will ever spontaneously just go away.