It was the 2015 national convention for my sorority, and college administrators and national pundits alike had been deliberating the elimination of Greek life. “Our way of life is under attack,” the keynote speaker said. People meet lifelong friends, and sometimes spouses, through the Greek system, and after college, alumni associations can provide networks in new cities. I would prefer no Greek life to Greek life that continues to marginalize women and other groups. Vanderbilt’s Greek life has been historically popular—with nearly a third of students participating in the Greek system—but that popularity began to come under threat when students started dropping out of the organizations they had once pledged themselves to after the murder of George Floyd. And Title IX prohibits schools that get such funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. a video of fraternity members mocking slavery, The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities, Abolish Greek Life? Much of the conversation here over the past few days about gender roles on campus has included mentions of fraternities and sororities. Please attempt to sign up again. Despite the perception that critics of Greek life are attacking a “way of life,” it is quite possible to preserve what is good about the organizations — fun with friends and a community based on common values — while dispelling the bad. Of course, there will be resistance, but this is not just about frats and sororities surviving in an increasingly diverse and open world; it’s about them living up to what they were meant to be in the first place. I am a firm believer that living in a house with your friends, playing beer-drinking games and dancing to overplayed pop songs are not fundamentally incompatible with inclusion, respect and a just society. The purpose of higher education is to prepare the next generation to be engaged and democratic citizens. Experience awe daily. There were a few tasks he had to complete … You can unsubscribe at any time. And on campuses where Greek life remains, it is increasingly popular, according to the North-American Interfraternity Conference. All Rights Reserved. Despite its flaws, Greek life and selective living works as a whole. We grow more experienced and oblivious to the simple, miraculous everything around us. These communities should be based on common values and passions, not on common privileges of sexual orientation, race, religion or gender. This year at Yale, the Whiffenpoofs, an a cappella group, admitted the first female member in its 109-year history. See How a Campus Debate Reflects the Nationwide Racial Justice Reckoning. The frat had everything I wanted in a Greek organization: philanthropy, personal development and campus involvement. His dates of birth and death closely correspond to the beginning and end of the Golden Age of Athens (480-404 B.C.). Sophocles was born in Colonus Hippiu, now a part of Athens, c. 496 B.C. Involvement in Greek life is about building deep friendships, and there is no reason those friendships should be limited by gender. In a new video for TIME, students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, one of the first schools to see the ‘Abolish Greek Life’ movement take hold, speak out as they grapple with whether abolishing longstanding fraternities and sororities would be an important step toward equality—or not. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. Ew, why would you pay to… Campus Life Why Being Rejected From a Sorority Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me A college student shares how being rejected from a … A summary of the latest discussion, fraternity ratings, and sorority ratings for Indiana University Bloomington - IU The system strictly enforces gender separation and traditional gender roles. There is no debate about what to do with a group that embraces hate like that: It should be kicked off campus, immediately (the Syracuse fraternity, Theta Tau, was permanently banished this month). We are college students, alumni, and activists who reject the continuation of fraternity and sorority life. Kruger, of NASPA, said Greek life organizations should analyze their promotional materials and campaigns and figure out if there is an “unintended message” coming through -- if all of the videos advertising for Greek life include only white, non-disabled people, that doesn’t entice students from other backgrounds to apply, he said. In recent years, a number of high-profile incidents tied to Greek life have occurred at colleges around the country, including a racist chant at the University of … “Additionally, large schools’ chapters often create a negative buzz about the Greek community because of hazing,” Camera explained, “This turns people away from the thought of Greek life. The prevention and rejection of racism, sexism, sexual assault and homophobia have been the focus of education and reform within Greek organizations at Vanderbilt for several years. Moving forward, even if colleges are hesitant to abolish the Greek system, chapters may struggle with bruised images as students look at fraternities and sororities with new scrutiny. In its current form, it fosters not just fun and friendship but also inequality. What to Know About Other Impeached Presidents, Iowa Man Who Drove Into Protest Avoids Prison. Fraternities and sororities, or Greek letter organizations (GLOs), also collectively referred to as "Greek life", are social organizations at colleges and universities.A form of the social fraternity, they are prominent in the United States and Canada.Similar organizations exist in other countries as well, including the Studentenverbindungen of German-speaking countries or the Goliardia in Italy. Thompson and a number of other disillusioned students, both ex-Greeks and not, began to organize. This means that women may be excluded from a major social space on campus if they do not adhere to the expectations of fraternity men. In addition to all that they provide their members, Greek organizations also typically raise money for charity and do volunteer work. They questioned whether Greek life—particularly chapters within the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, which govern fraternities and sororities—were troubling manifestations of exclusion and privilege at their colleges. “Greek life has really, for generations, been a public health problem, and I think that’s coming to the fore in the era of COVID-19. Sororities at George Mason University reject woman with Down syndrome ... from Indiana to be accepted to the university’s LIFE program ... wrote a letter to the head of the university's Greek life. "I had a great time rushing; everything was going great," Dumont said. Sophocles married and was elected to high military office, although he was not interested in the military life. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. He was the son of Sophillus, an armor manufacturer. Abolish Greek Life. August 27, 2013. Most recently, a video emerged of fraternity members at Syracuse University making hateful vows containing racist slurs. Plus, I get brothers and sisters. OMG, sororities are like, so cool, 2. “Many administrations are really loath to confront fraternity and sororities in outright ways because they’re worried about alumni who tend to be supportive of the organizations and tend to give money, or hold back their money when universities criticize the organizations,” says Nicholas Syrett, author of The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities. One part of this discussion is about campus chapters guilty of hazing, sexual assault or intolerance. Fraternities and sororities have had a strong presence on college campuses since the early 1800s and currently exist at over 630 universities in the United States. Dixie State Rejects Sorority Because Its Name Includes Greek Letters. Regardless of how many students choose to reject or join Greek life, the conversation on campus is an indicator of how a new generation hopes to bring about change. Philosophy = Ethics and the Good Life Later, philosophers turned to other topics, like ethics and how to live, but they didn't give up on their speculation about nature. For nearly a year, Dixie State University senior Indigo Klabanoff has been working to start a local sorority at her public Utah university that would be dedicated to providing services for the community and learning opportunities for its members. The feeling of awe is so elusive, but its presence always slows my step, catches my breath, and demands every ounce of my focus. Please try again later. The posters list a timeline of 11 criticisms of “white Greek life” and how the University has responded – or failed to respond – to culturally insensitive and Title IX complaints. In recent years, a number of high-profile incidents tied to Greek life have occurred at colleges around the country, including a racist chant at the University of Oklahoma and a video of fraternity members mocking slavery at the University of Georgia. Regardless of how many students choose to reject or join the system, the conversation on campus is an indicator of how a new generation hopes to bring about change. He had friends in Greek life. Robby Soave slammed the Times and reporter Dan Levin for choosing to “assist a teenager’s desperate quest to ruin the life of a young woman who … Little is known of his youth, except that he is thought to have received a traditional aristocratic education. This was a period in which the city reached political and cultur… And sororities and fraternities should go coed. In its current form, it fosters not just fun and friendship but also inequality. What happened to Timothy Piazza was a predictable tragedy, and there will be more unless we end Greek life for good. Rather than condemning it, Duke should get creative and loosely base the rest of its social scene off the model. Despite such concerns and liabilities, experts say that college administrators have an incentive to keep Greek life going. The first Greek millionaire in the Ottoman era was Michael Kantakouzenos Shaytanoglu, who earned 60.000 ducats a year from his control of the fur trade from Russia; he was eventually executed on the Sultan's order. It was a lesson perhaps learned this past spring, when the school dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak, with many cases traced back to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations commonly known among students as “St. By signing up you are agreeing to our, Kyle Rittenhouse Pleads Not Guilty in Kenosha Protest Shooting, Save on the cover price and get Free Issues, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. Fraternities and sororities are built on systems of exclusion, oppression, and violence. Fratty’s.”, Since the pandemic began, a number of other colleges have also traced outbreaks to Greek life. What’s not to love? This fuels the experiences of people of color throughout their lives in various academic, work, and personal spaces, including Greek Life Organizations (GLOs). It is about resolving a division that disservices all students. “You actually have chapters on campus who have done wonderful things, more so than other parts of non-Greek campus, when it comes to combatting sexual assault and combatting racism,” he tells TIME. For some college students, participating in Greek life is seen as a way to form life-long friendships, but Kyla Brinkley said her sorority experience was tarnished by racism.. For this reason, I’ve noticed there’s a gap between the people who participate in Greek life and those who do not. The Office of Greek Life has worked with these organizations, which has resulted in student-driven approaches to address these problems and enact change and reform. As Americans began a fresh reckoning with systemic racism this summer, some college students, kept home from school due to COVID-19, began to view campus life through a new lens. This is why most universities, even those that are private, receive public funding. It is not coincidence, many of you said, that all the incidents I described in my Sunday Styles article, about why young women have moved past stereotypes in the classroom but not in relationships, involved Greek life. “In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, no one in my sorority had talked about it. They created an Instagram account that shared people’s negative experiences with the Greek system, from racism to sexual assault to sexism to homophobia. And in a space where I had once considered community and I had called these girls my sisters, I couldn’t justify continuing to do that. This hasn’t just made it easier to exclude women; it has made it easier to objectify them, too. Organizations chartered to uphold values of character, leadership and sincere friendship should not object to such a cause; in fact, they should be at its forefront. John Hechinger, author of True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities, says this isn’t surprising. Emma Lane and Emily Elkas *This article discusses sensitive topics such as sexual assault. They are more likely to graduate on time and go on to earn higher salaries (though joining a fraternity does seem to have a slight negative effect on grades). Here are the 10 things Zorba the Greek taught me about life: 1. Greek organizations would not be the first single-sex college group to become coeducational. Dating back to 1851, Greek Life at UNC now comprises 61 organizations and almost 4,000 members, which is about 20% of the … Those who support Greek life often have a blind spot. Greek life has always been a polarizing issue. So, my first attempt at Greek life didn’t work out for me, and I’m glad for it. The media often fail to include details about what San Diego State University has done to ensure that Greek life and other student groups can do to … Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. In many ways, it’s a conflict that echoes the debate over policing in the U.S. Jared Bauman, a Vanderbilt senior and fraternity member, spoke out against abolishing the Greek system in a July op-ed for the student newspaper. Studies have shown that fraternity and sorority members also surpass their non-Greek counterparts on a number of metrics. It seems like people either love it and can’t wait to get involved or do not see its appeal at all. The women filling the ballroom, many of them wearing a Greek letter lapel pin or a monogrammed sweater, shouted in agreement. But some of them are real and chill, the others, kinda aholes. (Disclaimer: You are about to read of the private confessions of a sorority reject who knows that her confessions contain grammatical mistakes. But Greek life needs to change. The eating clubs at Princeton were forced to go coed in the ’90s and more recently, some Harvard final clubs have become open to all genders. I make no claims that it … During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, students rejected Greek life as a bastion of reactionary politics and racism, and dropped their affiliation en masse. It will be a test for Greek life and the Abolish Greek Life movement alike. The 24-year-old from Johns Creek, Georgia, wasn't surprised to find out she was the only Black member of her pledge class when she joined the Alpha Gamma Delta chapter at the University of Georgia in 2015 as a sophomore. Well, a lot. Implicit bias training could reduce the discrimination based on race and religion that has for years influenced determinations of which prospective members were the right “fit,” and providing financial aid for the expensive dues could bring in students who would otherwise find membership unaffordable. Ms. Roache is a sorority member at Stanford. Commentary: News media reports about Greek life at SDSU often miss full picture of university's efforts - Ben G. Clay. At one point, an organization of insurers rated fraternities as just above toxic waste dumps.”. Please bear with her.) Bad reputations for Greek life can also come from outside of Pacific’s campus, where Greek presence may be larger and potentially much more harmful. Very rude to people NOT in these. But there is also a wider conversation about why fraternities and sororities continue to exist at all and what role they have at a modern university. Without that rejection, I would have never found the right Greek atmosphere for me. Those not familiar with Greek life or the issues presented may find the book helpful. Racism in United States college fraternities and sororities ("Greek life") has been linked to the experience of microaggressions, fewer opportunities to use the networking system built into Greek life, and harmful stereotypes. I also saw them reject pretty girls from a party bc they weren’t in the sororities they invited. When one hears the word sorority, they usually have one of three thoughts: 1. Join Us. I don’t think we have to. Rules that prevent sorority sisters from hosting parties, drinking alcohol or having members of the opposite sex in their houses result in a disproportionate amount of social capital concentrated in male-dominated spaces. From what I’ve noticed, the majority of people here on campus still support Greek life, but they are the silent majority. They’re wayyyy too focused on what is considered a “top tier” frat or sorority. Those who defend Greek life talk about how it fosters a sense of community and belonging at a time when many people are far from home and often unsure of their direction. A similar debate is playing out at Columbia University, where a series of opinion pieces in the Columbia Spectator in past days have debated the merits of Greek life for women on campus. In July 2013, two Greek organizations at Dartmouth collaborated on a "Bloods versus Crips" party, where many of the 200 students in attendance students carried … After a tense summer, Vanderbilt resumed some in-person classes for the fall semester, with strict limits on student gatherings. by Susan Kruth. Regardless of how many students choose to reject or join the system, … The poster states, “End white supremacy & rape culture: don’t rush” at the bottom. While not all fraternities, and certainly not all fraternity men, abuse this social power, some do. Vanderbilt’s Greek rush process, in which potential new members are sorted into fraternities and sororities, will conclude at the beginning of the upcoming spring semester. Greek Life Rejection Letter Great for using after Greek rush, this organization rejection letter can be used for applicants to a fraternity or sorority. I was like, ‘I’m done,’” says Taylor Thompson, a Vanderbilt senior. 138 N. Main Street, Hudson, Ohio 44236, United States 330-475-7054 Greek life overall doesn’t really align with my values. Tales of the Egyptian, Greek and Norse pantheons are now considered legends, not holy writ. But this change is not just about keeping up with the times. Free to download and print. Students at other colleges, like Northwestern University, Duke University and the University of Richmond, created accounts in the same model, sparking a nationwide debate over Greek life’s place on campuses. The organizations on these campuses should be held to the same standard. It will be a test for Greek life and the Abolish Greek Life movement alike. Ah, sororities. Download This Letter Template (Microsoft Word format) This may explain why people remain fierce advocates of their “way of life” long after graduation. While other issues like hazing have garnered national attention and have been condemned by the national Greek life organization, exclusionary recruitment policies have continued to … At a time when many dorms have gender-mixed floors, and a full generation after most single-sex schools began admitting both sexes, these organizations seem like relics. But Greek life needs to change. Fraternities and sororities must make a number of changes to ensure their survival, starting with going coed. Shouldn’t we just ban them all? Debates about the future of fraternities and sororities have only gotten more intense since then. While some argue these problems are systemic and inherent to the Greek system, others counter that abolishing the Greek system is too hasty—and instead advocate for reforming the system to address its problems.