At least that seems to be the general message he sent during a recent fan-led interview published in the New York Times. After being asked about college fraternities, the actor stated:
“The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity,”
When a fan subsequently asked Ferrell for examples of his positive experiences in Delta Tau Delta (the fraternity to which the actor pledged during his time at the University of Southern California), Ferrell responded with a less than rosy outlook:
“[W]hen you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary…Fraternities were started as academic societies that were supposed to have a philanthropic arm to them. And when it’s governed by those kind of rules, then they’re still beneficial. But you gotta be careful.”
While Ferrell did admit he had some good times as a pledge, he made it clear that his fraternity did not operate in the manner in which today’s headlining houses have been.
“I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity. … We couldn’t get anyone to vote on anything, but if you needed 40 guys to show up and build a 20-foot-tall papier-mâché version of the Matterhorn, we were there and ready. But we didn’t take it too seriously. It was just about having fun. But I think it’s an interesting dilemma for universities these days.”
Turns out, when he’s not dressing up like Little Debbie and throwing everyone for a laugh-out-loud loop, Will Ferrell’s got some poignant social commentary to share with the class.
Fraternities present an “interesting dilemma,” indeed. Not only do the universities hosting them have face to save, but the frats themselves are often run like national corporations, complete with their own communications managers and regulatory bodies.
Has it all gotten so convoluted and mucky that it’s time for fraternities to go the way of the dodo?