Despite increased enrollments over recent years, the Greek system is becoming a point of controversy for some.

Douglas Belkin of the Wall Street Journal reports.

College Fraternities Drawing More Scrutiny

Tyler Kuhn’s most cherished Dartmouth memories involve smoking $6 Romeo y Julieta cigars, sipping Keystone Light beer on the porch of his Sigma Nu fraternity house and talking about women, politics and plans for the future.

Now, he is considering the possibility that Greek traditions and culture might be changed significantly, as the Dartmouth community awaits recommendations due this fall aimed at addressing campus social life, which is now largely centered on fraternity row.

“Fraternities are a really important part of what Dartmouth is all about,” Mr. Kuhn said, two days before he was set to graduate in June and head off to work at a Cleveland law firm.

As the ratio of women to men on U.S. college campuses ticks higher—it is now 1.4 to 1—university administrators are responding to a growing chorus of demands for action, including from federal regulators, designed to rein in questionable behavior toward women.

Dartmouth, Harvard, Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania are among the schools under pressure to more thoroughly investigate and document sexual assaults and build an infrastructure in which victims feel empowered to report attacks.

Caught up in the debate are fraternities, which have seen membership surge by about 39% to 257,672 between 2006 and 2013, according to the North-American Interfraternity Conference. They also are enjoying the glow from a survey of 30,000 college graduates by Gallup and Purdue University that found fraternity and sorority members generally are happier and more successful than their peers who didn’t pledge.

At the same time, fraternities at the University of Connecticut, Arizona State University and the University of Tennessee are among others that were suspended or put on probation in the past year.

Dartmouth’s new president, Philip Hanlon, believes a dysfunctional campus culture contributed to a 14% decline in freshman applications this spring and he has said “enough is enough.”