First semester students should not be allowed to join a fraternity or a sorority. That's the view of Binghamton University president Harvey Stenger.

A report released by the Fraternity and Sorority Coalition Project recommended students should be allowed to join the groups in the first semester they are on campus.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Stenger said he's opposed to that recommendation.

Stenger said he believes students should take the first semester to "get to know a lot of people" and make friends "across the board." He said if students wish to join a fraternity or sorority, that decision should be made in the spring semester.

The Fraternity and Sorority Coalition Assessment Project report was issued after a series of highly-publicized allegations of hazing involving some Binghamton University students.

Stenger said he agreed with a recommendation that fraternities and sororities should be recognized and worked with closely. He noted the benefits of such groups "significantly outweigh the costs."

Stenger pointed to statistics indicating fraternity and sorority members have higher graduation rates after four years compared to non-members. He said those who belong to such groups tend to contribute more community service hours than students who aren't members.

The university president said he expects to see positive changes this year with respect to fraternities and sororities.

Stenger said there now are nearly two dozen social fraternities and sororities officially recognized by Binghamton University. He said there may be three or four groups that are not recognized by the university. Those organizations have formed although they don't adhere to the official rules that have been adopted by the school.

Stenger noted the officially recognized groups receive benefits, including access to university facilities.