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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Greek life on campus: can any benefits outweigh the cost of sexual assault and hazing?

Presenter: Layla Dustin
Authors: Layla Dustin
Faculty Advisor: Joshua Price
Institution: Southern Utah University

Greek life has long been criticized for its correlation with alcohol abuse, sexual assault, hazing, and exclusivity among other things. Greek life also boasts of many benefits such as higher GPAs than school averages, increased social support, professional networking opportunities, and leadership experience to name a few. However, research suggests that some benefits are offset by negative impacts, particularly due to causation from binge drinking (Long, 2012). Evidence also suggest Greek life itself may not be responsible for positive outcomes, but rather certain characteristics such as race, parental income, and financial dependence. Therefore, it is beneficial to analyze whether these organizations cause more harm than good, and whether the good would exist without Greek presence on campus.I will use a linear regression model to control for the selection bias in membership and find out whether the benefits are better explained by parental income/financial independence and if Greek life has a net negative impact. Cost-benefit analysis will also be used in my discussion. Greek life has a significant selection bias because in order to join, you have to afford not only high membership fees but also the cost of things such as events. An opportunity cost also exists because if a student is financially independent, they may not be able to afford prioritizing the demands of Greek life over their job. This begs the question whether their actual membership leads to their post-grad success, or if they would’ve found success regardless due to variables independent of sorority or fraternity involvement (Biddix, 2014). Variables included in this regression will be fraternity or sorority membership status, parental income, academic success, and post-graduate income/employment as well as other variables controlling for selection bias.