Correction: This editorial incorrectly stated that the 17 fraternity members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon were involved in the death of a student. The fraternity was actually Beta Theta Pi. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
We’ve all seen the articles in big publications, like The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times, crying out about the injustices perpetuated by fraternities in the past year. Yet, our campus has largely been silent on the issue.
In the past year, pledge deaths have made national headlines at schools such as Pennsylvania State University, Florida State University and Texas State University, to name three that have garnered the most press. Both Florida State and Texas State suspended Greek activities on their campuses, and a Pennsylvania district attorney has brought charges against 17 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the fraternity responsible for Timothy Piazza’s death. The Greek system is entering a period of increased scrutiny and penalty on other campuses, but why isn't ours?
Obviously, the deaths of these pledges are terrible tragedies, but these tragedies are preventable. Preventable by dismantling the organizations responsible for them. It was not long ago that a UNC student death was connected to fraternity misbehavior. And certainly, no UNC student would wish for another pledge to die before we reckon with the dangers that fraternities pose to their members and the University community at large.