Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blog Post #10

This paper is going to define what the Social Norm Theory is, while relating it to college students. In today’s modern society, is it evident that binge drinking is clearly a huge problem. This paper will highlight recent cases, even including a case within my own college, that deal with students partaking in binge drinking and, it having a fatal outcome. This research paper’s goal is to prove that students who join greek life are more likely to engage in high risk drinking behavior. With the social norm of college drinking rapidly changing, I believe that fraternities are responsible for causing students to think that it is normal to binge drink, causing many deadly outcomes for many unlucky students across the country. The paper shows what is being done to fix the issue, and also what should be done.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A, and Laura T. Hamilton. "The Party Pathway." Paying for the Party: How
College Maintains Inequality. Cambridge: MA: Harvard UP, 2013. Print.
Attrino, Anthony G. "Rutgers Student Caitlyn Kovacs Died of Alcohol Poisoning After Party,
Prosecutor Says." N.p., 28 Oct. 2014. Web. <
Bandura, Albert. "Social learning theory." (1977): 305-316.
Cialdini, Robert B., Raymond R. Reno, and Carl A. Kallgren. "A Focus Theory of Normative
Conduct: Recycling the Concept of Norms to Reduce Littering in Public Places."Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology 58.6 (1990): 1015-1017. Print.
Flanagan, Caitlin. "The Dark Power of Fraternities." The Atlantic [Washington, D.C.] Mar. 2014:
Web. <
Glindemann, Kent E., Ian J. Ehrhart, Elise A. Drake, and E. S. Geller. "Reducing Excessive Alcohol
Consumption at University Fraternity Parties: A Cost-effective Incentive/reward Intervention." Addictive Behaviors 32.1 (2007): 39-48. Print.
Heyboer, Kelly. "Rutgers Fraternity Shut Down Following Hospitalization of Drunk Student."
Richard Vezza, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. <
Kelderman, Eric. "Why Don't Colleges Do More to Rein In Frats?" The Chronicle of Higher
Education [Washington, D.C] 3 Apr. 2015: A4. Print.
Kingkade, Tyler. "West Virginia Fraternity Pledge Who Died Had A 0.49 Blood Alcohol Level." The
Huffington Post. N.p., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. <
Konnikova, Maria. "18 U.S. Presidents Were in College Fraternities." The Atlantic. N.p., 21 Feb.
2014. Web. <
Ragsdale, Kathleen, et al. "“Liquor before beer, you're in the clear”: binge drinking and other risk
behaviours among fraternity/sorority members and their non-Greek peers." Journal of Substance Use 17.4 (2012): 323-339.
Thatcher, Esther. "Fraternity/Sorority Association with Heavy Drinking: Chicken-Or-Egg Question."
The National Social Norms Institute at the University of Virginia. N.p., 16 Mar. 2015. Web.<>.
Link to my research paper:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Literature Review #5

(1) Visual 
Image result for colleges shutting down frats
(2) Citation
Kelderman, Eric. "Why Don't Colleges Do More to Rein In Frats?" The Chronicle of Higher
Education [Washington, D.C] 3 Apr. 2015: A4. Print.
(3) Summary
This newspaper article highlights what college administration is doing to prevent/abolish any more accidental deaths caused by drinking that usually happens within fraternity households. They believe that putting social bans or shutting fraternities down all together will stop the drinking. The article also gives insight to the reader that most fraternity's nationals leave them with no insurance since they are breaking specific guidelines, even though many of these fraternities do not know this information, leading to another whirlwind of problems for Greek life.
(4) Author
Eric Kelderman- He is a staff reporter at the newspaper this article came from. He specializes in writing about legal issues and state policy. Being that this article was about laws and liability when it comes to deaths and injuries within an organization, he must be a very knowledgeable source in discussing my issue. 
(5) Key Term
Liability- This term is essential to understand this article.Whether it be the National Greek Organization taking liability for an incident that happen in a fraternity house, or it be the college administration taking the blame for what happen. Both administrations do not want to take the blame; however, they do not want to have bad press anymore, so they take action instead of liability.
There are not many terms that need to be defined in understanding this article and relating it to my paper, since I already used the other articles to define big key terms.
(6) Quotes
"local chapters to follow an extensive set of rules under risk-management policies that bar activity like the use of illegal drugs or the provision of alcohol to minors. Individual chapters must also purchase insurance through a company established by the fraternities and paid for by member dues" (Kelderman A4)
"some colleges have moved to close fraternities, suspend or expel student offenders, and — in cases of alleged criminal activity — open their own investigations" (Kelderman A4).
"National associations of Greek organizations say their key role is to provide "ongoing education and advice" to their local chapters, which are "self-governing and independent student organizations." And they act quickly to enforce their policies, primarily by closing or suspending individual chapters, according to an email from representatives of the National Panhellenic Council and the North-American Interfraternity Conference" (Kelderman A4)
"Put simply, it is a mistake for institutions to simply assume that they are under a legal duty to corral rowdy fraternities," he wrote. "To the contrary, there may be instances that such a duty is created solely by efforts to rein these organizations in" (Kelderman A4)
(7) Value
This article is essential to my paper. Not only does it address the problem, linking fraternities and horrendous accidents that happened after a night of binge drinking, it shows what college administration are doing in regards to this issue. I plan to prove this method wrong, presenting an alternative to their solution. It gives the reader information on what is already being done, proving once again there is a serious problem with binge drinking and fraternities.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Literature Review #4

(1) Visual
Welcome to the National Social Norms Institute.
(2) Citation
Thatcher, Esther. "Fraternity/Sorority Association with Heavy Drinking: Chicken-Or-Egg Question."
The National Social Norms Institute at the University of Virginia. N.p., 16 Mar. 2015. Web.<>.

There was a study done showing whether or not being in a part of a fraternity increasing the amount one drinks. It compared the drinking habits of a freshman to a senior, and being a fraternity or not, and explore the relationships.

Esther Thatcher- She has her masters in Community/Public Health.Her research focus on youth and what can be done to keep youth healthy. Giving her credibility to be a source in my paper.

(5)Key Term
Social Norm- Since this research is coming from the National Social Norms Institute. It is important to understand what a social norm is. Social Norm is what everyday people perceive as normal behavior. In regard to my paper, I believe that being in fraternity environment encourages people to believe that binge drinking is the social norm for college students. 

(6) Quotes
47% of freshman fraternity and sorority affiliates reported increasing their alcohol use in the past 12 months, versus 19% of non-affiliates”(Thatcher).
"in all 4 class-years, fraternity/sorority affiliates consumed significantly more drinks weekly than non-affiliates" (Thatcher).

(7) Value
This is yet another source backing up what the topic of my paper is. It links using actual research and numbers from another college showing that binge drinking and being in a fraternity go hand in hand. This is just proving the opposing point wrong. 

Literature Review #3

(1) Visual

Screenshot 2015-04-21 at 8.39.11 AM.png
(2) Citation
Ragsdale, Kathleen, et al. "“Liquor before beer, you're in the clear”: binge drinking and other risk behaviours among fraternity/sorority members and their non-Greek peers." Journal of Substance Use 17.4 (2012): 323-339.
(3) Summary
A few experimenters conducted research on students that attended University of Virginia (UVA) to explore what variables in the college culture attributed to students engaging in high levels of alcohol consumption. In the experiment, they wanted explore if there were any connections between gender, Greek life membership, binge drinking, other risky behavior among students that were a part of a Greek organization compared to students that were not in Greek life.
(4) Authors
Kathleen Ragsdale- She is an applied medical anthropologists. She focuses a lot of her research of exploring the health risks that young adults endure. She ais to teach young adults how to avoid risk behaviors, which can lead to STD or pregnancy. She studies young adults and high risk behavior, hence why I believe she is knowledgeable about my topic.
Jeremy R. Porter- He is professor at the University City in New York, teaching sociology and criminal justice. He has many published works about youth getting into trouble, making him a knowledgeable source.
Rahel Mathews- He is a knowledgeable source because he is a researcher at the University of Mississippi, who specializes in Social Science research focuses on public health.
These are just some authors of the paper, but as one can see there are already so many well-qualified authors already listed.
(5) Key Terms
Statistical Significance- This term is important in this article, it shows that the data set that these researchers found is that the relationship between alcohol consumption,being a member of fraternity, and violence either being done to oneself or another is not by chance. The data shows that they all have a positive correlation. 
Correlation- The relationship between two variables.
(6) Quotes
"There is a statistical significance in that female binge drinkers that are in a sorority are definitely more likely to engage in risky behavior that resulted in them becoming injured" (Ragsdale et. al.).
"Thirty two percent of the binge drinking women in sororities reported to have been injured during a night of drinking" ( Ragsdale et al.).
"The research showed that males that were in fraternities were involved in more fights than males who were not" (Ragsdale et al.).
(7) Value
This piece of research specifically help me explore my problem, because to understand one must see that there is an actual problem and why. With this research one can clearly see within the data that there is power in numbers, and a majority of people in the binge drinking fraternity member group saw there was consistently instances of violence. This research specifically links binge drinking and fraternities perfectly, giving my problem statistic back up.

Literature Review #2

(1) Visual 

(2) Citation 

Flanagan, Caitlin. "The Dark Power of Fraternities." The Atlantic [Washington, D.C.] Mar. 2014:
Web. <

(3) Summary 

Flanagan takes a yearlong investigation and attempts to infiltrate into fraternities to learn all of their dark secrets. She found things so dark that gave a great insight on what actually happens within these upstanding "charitable"clubs, filled with apparent brotherhood and respect; however it is quite the opposite. She points out specific instances where hazing goes so far and ends up hurting a students. Another instance where a brother gets so intoxicated that he lights a firework out of his rear She paints a picture where fraternities are dark places forcing students to drink and do horrible things just to become part  of a club.

(4) Author 

Caitlin Flanagan- She has been writing magazine articles since 2001. She writes many pieces about social issues, many of them being domestic.She was nominated for the National Magazine Award five times for her pieces. I feel lie with this much writing experience she is a valuable source for my paper, since she writes a lot about social issues I feel she would be knowledgeable about my topic.

(5) Key Terms

Hazing- Hazing can be defined as an act of humiliation that pledges have to endure to be initiated into a fraternity. Many of these rituals include the people drinking an intense amount of alcohol. 

Binge drinking- This is defined as drinking more than four drinks within an hour. Or drinking an immense amount of alcohol in a short period of time.

(6) Quotes 

“in 1984 Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, with the ultimate result of raising the legal drinking age to 21 in all 50 states. This change moved college partying away from bars and college-sponsored events and toward private houses—an ideal situation for fraternities” (Flanagan).

"They also have a long, dark history of violence against their own members and visitors to their houses, which makes them in many respects at odds with the core mission of college itself." (Flanagan).

John Hechinger notes that since 2005, more than 60 people—the majority of them students—have died in incidents linked to fraternities, a sobering number in itself, but one that is dwarfed by the numbers of serious injuries, assaults, and sexual crimes that regularly take place in these houses" (Flanagan).

"On February 25, 2012, a student at the University of California at Berkeley attempted to climb down the drainpipe of the Phi Gamma Delta house, fell, and suffered devastating injuries; on April 14 of the same year, a 21-year-old student at Gannon University, in Pennsylvania, died after a fall from the second-floor balcony of the Alpha Phi Delta house the night before; on May 13, a Cornell student was airlifted to a trauma center after falling from the fire escape at Delta Chi; on October 13, a student at James Madison University fell from the roof of the three-story Delta Chi house and was airlifted to the University of Virginia hospital; on December 1, a 19-year-old woman fell eight feet from the Sigma Alpha Mu house at Penn State" (Flanagan).

(7) Value

This work helped me with research in my topic because it really opened up my eyes that fraternities, yes they drink a lot, however, it is so much more than that. There is a bigger problem then simply the members drink alcohol. Most people have heard that fraternities haze, yes, but Flanagan broke it down perfectly to show that everywhere students are getting seriously hurt physically and mentally. Using statistics and actually stories she's shows how it affects everyone, through drinking in a small house party can lead to an accident that esses with someone forever. So this paper raised awareness of how important my issue is to change. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Literature Review #1

(1) Visual

(2) Citation:

Glindemann, Kent E., Ian J. Ehrhart, Elise A. Drake, and E. S. Geller. "Reducing Excessive Alcohol Consumption at University Fraternity Parties: A Cost-effective Incentive/reward Intervention."Addictive Behaviors 32.1 (2007): 39-48. Print.

(3) Summary:

Experiment on students that resided in Blacksburg, Virginia, where six random fraternities were randomly to participate. Some were chosen to hand out flyers to partygoers during a party, the other fraternities were not asked to hand out the flyers. On the flyers, they read, any student that has a BAC lower than .05 they are entered in a $100 cash lottery. Then the researchers compared student’s BAC levels that attended the party handing out the flyers versus the student’s BAC level. They wanted to see if giving students a reward would lower binge drinking behavior within fraternity parties.

(4) Authors:

Kent Glindemann- Although I could not find any information specifically about him, I did find that he wrote a bunch of other scholarly articles pertaining to social psychology. I believe this makes him a knowledgeable source if he has multiple published works online with his research.
Ian Ehrhart- Also, very difficult to find information about him directly. However, I found he wrote another paper called "Alcohol Expectancies and Self-Efficacy as Moderators of Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use Among College Students". I feel that he already wrote about alcohol use in college students makes him another knowledgeable source.
Elise Drake received her BS in Psychology from Elmira College in New York. She graduated from Barry University with an MS in Clinical Psychology and from Virginia Tech with a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She then completed her Predoctoral Internship in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at WVU School of Medicine/Charleston Area Medical Center in 2009. I feel like with all these degrees it is obviously she is a reliable source.
E.S. Geller, Ph.D., is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech (this paper was about student from there!) and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a part of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality, he has accomplished so much more, needless to write more it is evident he has the credentials to be a source in my paper.

(5) Key Terms

Some key terms I found helpful in this article was incentive/reward and intervention. Both of these terms were vital while reading through and understanding the value of the results and statistics. Incentives and rewards pertaining to this article can be described as an item of value given to the students to reinforce good behavior. Thus, giving them $100 will make them drink less (good behavior). Intervention can be defined as attempting to change or stop bad behavior. The experimenters wanted to intervene these parties so they can find effective ways lower binge drinking rates, thus keeping students safer.
(6) Quote:
“The fraternities in the experimental group (group that received flyers), mean BAC levels were significantly lower at the intervention parties than at the baseline parties and the percentage of partygoers with a BAC below 0.08 was significantly higher at the intervention parties than the baseline parties”.
This quote is the most important quotes pertaining to my paper. Stating that according to their statistics done after the data was collected that giving the students a reward lower the binge drinking a significant amount, which offers a specific solution to the problem at hand, binge drinking among the college population, at fraternity parties.
(7) Value
This paper was extremely important to my claim in question. In my paper I discuss how I believe how universities are handling the problem with binge drinking among students is not a great way to handle it. I explain that this research is a perfect idea to make students want to change their behavior, because I am a frm believer that nothing will change unless you want it to change. And what this research shows is that students are motivated to change because they are getting a reward for good behavior.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog Post #9

My argument is quite simple. I wanted to explore what drives students to binge drink. Since binge drinking is such a huge issue among young students, figured if someone could pinpoint a reason, or influence that causes students to engage in this risky behavior, that leads to student death. According to sources I found, my argument is that, since, according to research, members of fraternities often engage in binge drinking. I believe that many young college student are impressionable, many freshman do not know what it is like to live on their own and most freshman need to make new friends. A common way to make friends in college is to attend parties. Many fraternities have parties where anyone can come in and socialize with others. I believe that students enter a fraternity party and observe the environment around them, and see the majority of the fraternity members participating in binge drinking. The student now perceives drinking this excessive amount is normal, and will want to engage in the same drinking behavior. Leading to unfortunate outcomes for some students.

The counter-argument for my claim was they author believed that students that engage in binge drinking, not because they see fraternities making it a social norm, but college is a placed where some students just can not handle how hard the workload is, some people do have have the money, some students become full of anxiety with their growing student loan debt, and some students cannot make friends so they're struggling with being alone. All or any one of those factors can lead a student down a dark path. Since alcohol is technically a depressant, if a student is depressed, they will drink excessively to attempt to feel better. Students attempt to drink their problems away, to try to numb the mental stress, and pain. After the student is done excessively binge drinking, the depressing emotions are still there, then the student will want to drink again, leading the student to endure a cycle of binge drinking behavior. 

Each side has a completely different hypothesis to why students engage in binge drinking during college. My claim believes that fraternities are the main influence; however, the counter-argument claims that students engage in binge drinking with stress/depression being the main influence. Both see there is definitely a problem with alcohol consumption, by using similar terms such as binge drinking.