EDUCATION

Frats under fire: Some chapters are caught behaving badly despite intense focus on prevention

  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Executive Director Blane Ayers pauses as he takes questions from reporters after a news conference, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Chicago. The college fraternity that has been under scrutiny since members of its University of Oklahoma chapter were caught on video engaging in a racist chant says it will require all of its members nationwide to go through diversity training. Ayers said he was disgusted by the video and apologized for the pain it caused and outlined steps meant to ensure it never happens again. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Executive Director Blane Ayers pauses as he takes questions from reporters after a news conference, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Chicago. The college fraternity that has been under scrutiny since members of its University of Oklahoma chapter were caught on video engaging in a racist chant says it will require all of its members nationwide to go through diversity training. Ayers said he was disgusted by the video and apologized for the pain it caused and outlined steps meant to ensure it never happens again. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)  (The Associated Press)

  • Men walk into the Sigma Chi fraternity house after the University of Houston suspended the fraternity Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Houston, Texas. The University of Houston president  announced Tuesday that the Sigma Chi chapter and five of its student members have been suspended and that an investigation into pledge activity is ongoing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Men walk into the Sigma Chi fraternity house after the University of Houston suspended the fraternity Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Houston, Texas. The University of Houston president announced Tuesday that the Sigma Chi chapter and five of its student members have been suspended and that an investigation into pledge activity is ongoing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man wearing a Sigma Chi t-shirt smokes a cigarette on the porch of the fraternity house after the University of Houston suspended the fraternity Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Houston, Texas. The University of Houston president  announced Tuesday that the Sigma Chi chapter and five of its student members have been suspended and that an investigation into pledge activity is ongoing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    A man wearing a Sigma Chi t-shirt smokes a cigarette on the porch of the fraternity house after the University of Houston suspended the fraternity Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Houston, Texas. The University of Houston president announced Tuesday that the Sigma Chi chapter and five of its student members have been suspended and that an investigation into pledge activity is ongoing. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

Racist chants. Nude photos of unconscious women. A criminal investigation into hazing.

Fraternities around the country seem to be coming under fire as never before over behavior that would shock the frat boys of "Animal House."

Despite a major national push to reduce drinking and sexual assault on campus and increase diversity, some fraternity chapters have failed to clean up their act. Universities — and the fraternities' national offices — are quickly punishing the offenders amid yet more promises of reform.

Some critics blame popular culture, saying it is making fraternities essentially ungovernable.

Defenders say that fraternities do a lot of good work and hold members accountable for their behavior. They say the focus on fraternity misconduct is misguided.