Will Ferrell is a former fraternity Delta Tau Delta brother, but he thinks it’s time that college social clubs disband forever.
His comments come after the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma sparked outrage with their racist chant, which includes the line, “There will never be a n***** SAE.”
The university’s president has since shut down the fraternity, but there is a lot of debate as to whether the whole fraternity experience is actually good one one.
On Monday during a New York Times Q&A in Austin, Texas, Ferrell shared his views on getting rid of the system.
“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,” he said. “Because when 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.”
The Elf actor’s views have certainly changed since his college years, because he admits to having had a lot of fun at his own University of Southern California fraternity.
“I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity,” he recalled. “We were considered good enough to get the exchanges with the good sororities. 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.”
Perhaps Ferrell believes that the difference between then and now, in his experience, was that they did not take it so seriously.
“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.”