Letters to the Editor: Male college enrollment is dropping. Fraternities are too important to ban

USC students protest outside the Sigma Nu fraternity house.
USC students protest outside the Sigma Nu house. The university placed the fraternity on an interim suspension over druggings and sexual assaults.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Sexual assault, hazing and alcohol misuse are huge cultural challenges that must continue to be addressed across college campuses and communities. While often easy to condemn, fraternities are among the organizations working to address these issues. (“Fraternities are incubators of sexual assault and other violence. Why is USC defending them?” Opinion, Nov. 11)

Fraternities continue to lead in efforts to protect students by enforcing stricter health and safety guidelines than applied to non-fraternity students across campuses. Each fraternity has procedures for investigating allegations of misconduct, and they work with the university to ensure due process and compliance with both fraternity and university regulations.

When individuals are found in violation of policies, they are held accountable.


At a time when male enrollment in college is dropping, fraternities have near-record enrollment and give too much to students, campuses and communities to be lost.

Todd Shelton, Indianapolis

The writer is chief communication officer at the North American Interfraternity Conference.


To the editor: Not long after I came here from England in 1957, I was pleased and proud to be accepted to UCLA. During my first week as a student, not knowing what to expect, I was invited to a fraternity party.

My former schooling did not prepare me for what I experienced during that half-hour. Needless to say, it was so off-putting, unpalatable and even sickening that I soon departed. I chose not to join a sorority and never attended any such gathering again.

Jean Guerrero’s description of the social dysfunction of a USC fraternity party does not leave much to the imagination other than to warn away women who might want to attend. The toxic masculinity on display is terrifying. No wonder the current climate of male behavior in certain corporations and too many other social circumstances is as foul and shameful as some describe.


Unless we wish, as a society, to descend even further down the rat hole, we must pay immediate serious attention to this. Getting rid of fraternities at USC would be a start.

Elaine Livesey-Fassel, Los Angeles


To the editor: The question no longer is do sexual assaults happen at USC fraternity parties, but what is the proper punishment for the perpetrators? Answers range from jail time to suspension to banning fraternities altogether.

I’d like to add another remedy: steep fines for parents.

Before a typical 18-year-old male freshman is allowed to attend classes, he and his parents should be made to sign a contract with the university. That contract should stipulate student and parent attendance at a 90-minute orientation on campus focusing exclusively on sexual assault, and that the parents agree to pay a steep fine if their son is found guilty of sexual assault.

My guess is if parents truly are on the hook for their kids’ behavior, the number of assaults would drop dramatically.

There is no excuse for members of fraternities spiking drinks in order to assault women. USC has an obligation to ensure the safety of its students, both on campus and on Fraternity Row. In my opinion, making parents accountable would go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach