Here's one view:
Let me share mine:
Universities are concerned about enrollment and retention. Fraternities contribute to that goal. At some institutions, residence halls live under one set of rules, Greek houses under another. Drugs and alcohol are tightly policed in the residence halls. The Greeks are ostensibly "self governing". Students soon figure out where the good parties take place and where the alcohol flows. Meanwhile, such institutions turn a blind eye, knowing that the parties and the alcohol attract and retain students.
Some colleges, like my alma mater, have tried to eliminate the Greeks. When I attended Franklin & Marshall College in the sixties, F&M was all male and the 1200 students supported 11 frats, all but one located off campus. We did pretty much what we wanted, free from supervision.
Later, after the college became co-ed, a well-intentioned president withdrew recognition of the frats. What happened? They went underground, so that what little control the college had was completely lost. And a lot of alumni, since half the student population in my day pledged fraternities, were alienated. The college lost money. And so today? Yes, the fraternities are back at F&M.
And there you have my two reasons, based upon personal experience and observation, why fraternities persist and persist in misbehaving at many colleges and universities.
MARCH 23, 2015
University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan today issued the following statement regarding the results of the Charlottesville Police Department investigation of the allegations described in a November 2014 Rolling Stone article:
“On behalf of the University of Virginia, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Chief Timothy Longo and the Charlottesville Police Department for their thorough investigation into the allegations described in the November 2014 article in Rolling Stone magazine. I would also like to thank the individuals who cooperated with the police investigation. The investigation confirms what federal privacy law prohibited the University from sharing last fall: that the University provided support and care to a student in need, including assistance in reporting potential criminal conduct to law enforcement. Chief Longo’s report underscores what I have known since well before the publication of the Rolling Stone article: that we at the University are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all of our students.
“We cannot fulfill our mission as an institution of higher learning without providing for the welfare of our students and our community. There is important work ahead as the University continues to implement substantive reforms to improve its culture, prevent violence and respond to incidents of violence when they occur. We will continue our collaborative partnership with the Charlottesville Police Department, united by our shared commitment to fostering a culture of respect while ensuring the safety and well-being of all members of our community.”