Caitlin Flanagan

March 3, 2014 - Caitlin Flanagan 03/03/2014 Views: 67,492

The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan shares insights from her year-long investigation into campus Greek life for her article, "The Dark Power of Fraternities." (5:41)

>> MY GUEST TONIGHT AS AWRITER WHO NEW ARTICLE IS CALLED

"THE DARK POWER OF FRATERNITIES"I MIGHT BE BREAKING OUT

MY PADDLE, PLEASE WELCOMECAITLIN FLANAGAN.

GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THANKS FOR COMING.

OH, THANK YOU FOR COMINGBACK.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING MEBACK.

>> NOW AS I SAID, YOU ARE AWRITER FOR THE ATLANTIC, YOU

HAVE A COUPLE OF PREVIOUS BOOKS.

YOU GOT A NEW ARTICLE IN THEATLANTIC CALLED THE

FRATERNITY PROBLEM.

IT'S WORSE THAN YOU THINK.

THE DARK POWER OF FRATERNITIES.

WHAT IS THE DARK POWER OFFRATERNITIES?

I KNOW ABOUT THE BRIGHTSTRENGTH OF FRATERNITIES.

THAT ALLOWS MEN TO BOND WITHEACH OTHER.

>> WELL, IT'S PART OF THATGREAT STRENGTH THAT LEADS TO

THE DARK SIDE.

BECAUSE THEY'RE SO POWERFULIN COLLEGE ADMINISTRATIONS

THEY'RE ABLE TO GET AWAYWITH LOTS OF THINGS THAT ARE

ULTIMATELY VERY DANGEROUS TOOUR YOUNG MEN AND I THOUGHT

I WOULD HIGHLIGHT THAT INTHIS ARTICLE.

>> Stephen: WHAT COULD BEDANGEROUS.

I WAS AN SAE AT DARTMOUTH.

AND ALL WE DID WAS GOODWORKS LIKE THE OCCASIONAL

FOOD DRIVE AND THEN-- ANDTHEN, YOU KNOW, DURING

PLEDGE WEEK WE PASSED AGREASE 45 RECORD FROM ASS

CHEEK TO ASS CHEEK IN THEBASEMENT.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: AND THAT'S JUSTBONDING.

IS IT BECAUSE YOU'RE A WOMANAND YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE

WAY MEN-- I'M JUST SAYING,NO, NO.

I MEAN SORORITIES ARE GOODTOO.

WERE YOU IN A SORORITY.

>> I WAS ACTUALLY A FOUNDINGMEMBER OF A SORORITY SO I'M

NOT ENTIRELY OPPOSED TO THEGREEK LIFE.

>> Stephen: NO YOU'RE PARTOF THE PROBLEM, EVIDENTLY.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TOBECOME A BUSINESS OF A

SOLUTION SO I THOUGHT IT WASTIME TO SHINE A BIT OF A

BRIGHT LIGHT INTO THENEGATIVE SIDES OF FRATERNITY

LIFE.

>> Stephen: I HAVE MYRESEARCHERS LOOK INTO THIS,

85% OF ALL SUPREME COURTJUSTICES SINCE 1910 HAVE

BEEN FRAT MEMBERS.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: 85% OF FORTUNE500 EXECUTIVES ARE FRAT

MEMBERS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: SO IT MUST BEGOOD GUYS.

BECAUSE-- (LAUGHTER)

I MEAN YOU KNOW WHAT THEYSAY, NICE GUYS BECOME THE

HEADS OF FORTUNE 500COMPANIES.

>> YES, WELL THERE ARE MENWHO ARE EXTREMELY ADMIRABLE

WHO BELONGED TO FRATERNITIES WHO HAVE A GREAT HISTORY OF

LEADERSHIP AND PROMOTINGBUSINESS AND POLITICS AND

THE LAW, BUT THERE ARECERTAIN SORT OF TRADITIONS

WITHIN FRATERNITIES THAT AREALIGNED WITH A BAD INSTINCT.

>> Stephen: OKAY, BUM ME OUT,BUM ME OUT.

COME ON.

>> OKAY THERE IS A VIOLENTHAZING WHICH HAS REALLY

SCARRED AND INJURED MANYYOUNG MEN OVER THE COURSE OF

MANY DECADES.

>> Stephen: BUT IT'S DONEWITH LOVE, OKAY.

THOSE ARE MY BROS.

>> RIGHT.

I UNDERSTAND.

>> Stephen: MY BROS.

WE DIDN'T HAVE FRATERNITIESWHO WOULD I CALL BROSEF OR

BROHAM.

>> THAT'S TRUE.

I'M SORRY.

>> Stephen: WHAT AM I DOING.

DO YOU WANT A BEER?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> THANK YOU, YES.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU VERYMUCH, IT'S ALL FOAM, I'M

SORRY ABOUT THAT.

UH-HUH.

>> SEE YOU COULD DO A KEGSTAND NOW AND SHOW THAT--

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: OR, OR YOU

COULD.

>> WELL-- I WAS IN ASORORITY AFTER ALL BUT MY

SON IS HERE TONIGHT SO IWON'T GO THAT FAR.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)DOES THAT TAKE YOU BACK.

>> IT'S HORRIBLE.

>> Stephen: DOES THAT TAKEBACK.

>> NEVER A BEER DRINKER.

BUT ANYTHING FOR THE SHOW.

>> Stephen: DID YOU-- WHEREDID YOU GO TO COLLEGE.

>> UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.

>> Stephen: UVA, THAT HASA SERIOUS FRAT SYSTEM THERE

I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN THEPHI CAP HOUSE.

>> OKAY, UPSTAIRS.

>> Stephen: SURE, UPSTAIRS,DOWNSTAIRS, EVERYWHERE IN

THAT HOUSE, RIGHT THERE ONTHAT RUGBY FIELD.

>> THE QUAD.

DID YOU EVER SPEND ANY TIMEDOWN THERE.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'SINTERESTING WHEN I WAS AN

UNDERGRADUATE I WASEXPLICITLY TOLD EVEN BY THE

ADMINISTRATION AT UVA TONEVER GO UPSTAIRS IN A

FRATERNITY HOUSE UNLESS IHAD SOBER COMPANIONS WITH ME

BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCHRAPE IN THE FRATERNITY

HOUSES AND THAT IS SOMETHINGTHAT HASN'T CHANGED OVER THE

YEARS THERE IS STILL SEXUALASSAULT.

NOT ALL FRATERNITIES.

>> Stephen: I KNOW, NOW YOU ARE PLAYING THE SEXUAL

ASSAULT CARD.

>> AND NOW I LOSE.

I THINKYOU'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THAT.

(APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: SO I MEAN HOW

WIDESPREAD IS THE DARK POWEROF FRATS?

IS THERE A REDEEMING FACTORTO THEM?

>> WELL, THERE CERTAINLY IS.

IF YOU ARE IN A GOOD FRATERNITY THERE IS TREMENDOUS

LEADERSHIP TRAINING,MENTORING, THEY DO

MILLIONS OF HOURS OFCOMMUNITY SERVICE.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FORWORTHY CAUSES SO WHEN

FRATERNITIES ARE DONE IN AGOOD WAY, IF THEIR ALCOHOL

PROBLEM IS NOT BAD, THEY'REWONDERFUL ORGANIZATIONS.

BUT THEY CAN BE EXTREMELYDANGEROUS AND EVEN

DEVASTATING TO THE YOUNGPEOPLE WHO PARTY THERE.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINKANYTHING WILL BE DONE TO

TONE DOWN THE PARTY CULTUREOF FRATS?

BECAUSE YOU KNOW, THAT'SWHAT PEOPLE JOIN FRATS FOR,

ISN'T IT?

IT'S LIKE ♪♪

♪ ♪ DRINK [BLEEP] DRINK

[BLEEP] DRINK [BLEEP].

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)CAITLIN FLANAGAN, THE

ATLANTIC.