In a report that surely will come as a great surprise to Evanstonians, a New York Times reporter spent several days on the Northwestern University campus recently and found — drinking at fraternities.

The NU visit provided several anecdotes for a broader look at the state of fraternities on college campuses and efforts at some schools to crack down on frats as a way of addressing issues of sexual assault, binge drinking and hazing.

Over the past decade a half dozen fraternities have been put on probation or suspended at NU.

But the Times report says NU still has an unusually robust Greek scene, with about 40 percent of students belonging to fraternities or sororities and that the school — unlike a few colleges elsewhere — has no plans to phase out fraternities.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. How is this new to anyone?

    Anyone that has ever attended college in the US already knows this about the Greek life-style. This is "News" that “Greek” parties have drinking? Come on! It is not just the Greeks, it is everywhere in the life-style of colleges and universities. Look at the tail-gate parties at every college football game. As a parent of a student that is going to be a freshman next year at college, my wife and I hope that she makes good choices. We have been very open with her about the problems that can occur with drinking. I think every parent knows that alcohol is present and available to college students of all ages. And it is very likely that they will drink before they are 21. We need to teach them to be smart. Let them know it is OK to say no! But also enforce how important it is to never drive when you drink! And never ride with someone that has been drinking!  The bigger story how we keep the drinking out of our high schools!

    1. College drinking

      Northwestern's drinking problems aren't new to permanent residents west of campus. Since the early nineties fraternities and sororities have increasingly been operating satellite houses off campus. Kicking fraternities off campus only exacerbates problems connected with alcohol abuse. Permanent residents know well the scenarios witnessed by the Times reporter. Football season and spring are the worst and a neighborhood ER nurse says that the ER is very busy during these times, especially on Dillo Day – the most notorious day of the year.

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