John Hechinger recently published an explosive book (TRUE GENTLEMEN: THE BROKEN PLEDGE OF AMERICA’S FRATERNITIES) about the fraternity culture of binge drinking and sexual assault, behaviors that typically are ignored, tolerated, and excused.

This piece is an excerpt from his book. It explains who is protecting the current fraternity culture. Just a few days ago, a student at Louisiana State University died during a fraternity hazing ritual that involved binge drinking.

Why is this allowed to continue?

Each spring, scores of fresh-faced undergraduates flock to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress in support of legislation sympathetic to Greek organizations and to network at a cocktail reception and $500-a-plate fundraiser. In April 2016, at the elegant Liaison Hotel, U.S. Representatives, flanked by American flags, posed for photos with fraternity men and sorority women. The lawmakers were the honored guests of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, commonly known as FratPAC, which bills itself as the largest political action committee “focused solely on higher education issues.”

Since 2005, when it was founded, FratPAC has given more than $1.3 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress, almost two-thirds to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks money in Washington. Fraternity and sorority alumni, who make up less than 4 percent of the adult population, are disproportionately represented in the capital. Thirty-nine percent of Senators in the 113th U.S Congress, and one-fourth of U.S Representatives, belonged to Greek organizations, primarily fraternities—as well as one-third of all Supreme Court justices and about 40 percent of U.S. presidents, according to the North-American Interfraternity Conference, which represents most of the oldest and largest fraternities. (Presidents Trump and Obama were not fraternity men.)

In 2012, FratPac helped forestall the introduction of a bill that would have revoked federal financial aid from anyone that a school disciplinary board found responsible for hazing. The fraternity lobby has also defended the due-process rights of college men in sexual-assault cases. In 2015, it backed a bill that would have required the victims of sexual assault to report the allegations to law enforcement before requesting a campus hearing. Fraternity and sorority trade groups and three national fraternities spent $250,000 lobbying for the bill.