Colleges should prepare to deal with more student drinking and hazing this fall semester

(Inside Higher Ed, June 17) Sorority and, in particular, fraternity hazing and related hazardous drinking continue to be areas of significant concern for college administrators across the country. Some recent data point to a return to pre-pandemic levels, but more concerning is a continuing upward trend. In fact, a potential, if not likely, scenario is that alcohol use and hazing may substantially increase this fall semester.

The tragic recent alcohol-related deaths of Stone FoltzAdam Oakes and others provide validity to these concerns. After a brief reprieve due social restrictions and most students being away from campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the normative trends of problematic hazing and related alcohol misuse appear to be resuming once again. As researchers at the Penn State Piazza Center for Fraternity & Sorority Research and Reform who study Greek organizations and work to facilitate cultural change, we can share some insights into these trends as well as some implications to consider for the forthcoming academic year, with a focus on readiness for the fall semester.

Plan for Fall

The pandemic disrupted the college experience for several student cohorts across two academic years, which may dramatically alter the way students engage in their extracurricular experiences this fall. Read more.