Category Archive 'Fraternities'

24 Sep 2014

Academic Tyranny Strikes Fraternities at Wesleyan & Dartmouth

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Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at Wesleyan.


Wesleyan University in Connecticut on Monday ordered its fraternities with houses on campus to become coeducational within three years, a move it says is not just about bad behavior but also equality.

Wesleyan follows Trinity College in Hartford, which began the transition starting in 2012, citing problems with drinking and drug use in Greek organizations. It also comes less than a month after Wesleyan closed the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house after a woman attending a party there was seriously injured after falling from a third-floor window.

But school spokeswoman Kate Carlisle said the changes are not a response to any one incident.

“This has been the subject of ongoing concern and discussion among the people in the administration, the school community, the alumni community and so forth for a number of years,” she said.

The decision was announced in a letter to the university community from President Michael Roth and trustees Chairman Joshua Boger. It requires Greek organizations with houses on campus to have both male and female members and to have each gender “well represented” in their organizational leadership to qualify for housing on campus and the use of university spaces.



Meanwhile on Sunday night, Dartmouth College students had received word that all fraternities at the Ivy League school in New Hampshire would eliminate the traditional pledge period, which nationwide has been associated with the hazing of new members. …

Dartmouth’s change follows years of debate about the role of fraternities on campus and comes just months after a majority on a student council overseeing sororities boycotted the midwinter rush because they believed the Greek system was unsafe for women. Hundreds of faculty members and two former Dartmouth presidents have advocated for a dramatic overhaul or abolition of the Greek system.

On Sunday, the Dartmouth Inter-Fraternity Council sent out a brief email to students announcing the latest change:

    We, the Inter-Fraternity Council of Dartmouth, have unanimously elected to bring a formal end to the fraternity pledge period, commonly known as “pledge term.” All newly selected members of IFC fraternities shall be considered full members upon joining a house. New members will enjoy full rights and privileges of current members. We will continue to work closely with GLOS [the Office of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies] to ensure the continuation of constructive individual and team-building activities.

    It is the hope of the IFC that the formal end of the fraternity pledge period will work to strengthen the Dartmouth community we hold dear.

Members of the Inter-Fraternity Council declined to make anyone available for interviews on Monday. But the council’s decision likely grew out of college President Phil Hanlon’s effort, launched in April, to “move the college forward” and tackle social climate problems on campus. Many online responses to that campaign had suggested requiring significant reforms to the Greek system.

College now cost roughly $60,000.00 a year plus your freedom of thought and association.

09 May 2013

Administration Opponents of Fraternities Will Be Leaving Trinity

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The Trinity College Chapel

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports that tyrannical efforts to stamp out fraternities at Trinity College may have backfired and led to the early departure of the revolutionary regime.

Trinity College President James Jones announced his intention to step down from his post in June 2014, one year before the end of his contract. Jones reported in the same email that Board of Trustees Chair Paul E. Raether will also leave the Trustees’ top position. Trinity’s two top leaders signaled their departures as student and alumni dissatisfaction is increasing over a new social code that violates Trinity’s promises of freedom of association and effectively bans fraternities and sororities through gender quotas and other measures. …

In October 2012, Trinity’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendations of a report by the Charter Committee for Building Social Community at Trinity College, including a new social code that will effectively eliminate fraternities, sororities, and other campus social organizations. Among the new requirements for such organizations are:

All social organizations must be recognized and approved by the college, and students are prohibited from participating in unrecognized social organizations. Students who associate with unapproved groups “will be subject to separation from the College.”

Social organizations may not be single-sex. “Trinity students,” the code states, “shall not be affiliated with national organizations that do not adhere to a coeducational philosophy.”

Quotas for gender parity in membership and leadership. By 2016, all fraternities and sororities must achieve 45% “minority gender” membership and 40% minority gender leadership. Organizations that fail to do so will be prohibited.

The new requirements are specifically targeted at Greek life on campus, as musical, athletic, and even academic and professional organizations are explicitly exempted.

Trinity also intends to seize the properties of organizations that do not comply with the new code, stating that the college will “establish a fair sale price for these assets with alumni owners and reassign them to another organization for the betterment of the College.”

25 Jun 2011

Cornell Fraternity Life, 1978

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Entertaining the young ladies at Spring croquet

One of Muffy Aldrich’s friends reminisces about (and defends) fraternity life at Cornell in the mid-1970s.

It’s a funny thing about me and my cronies. For us, college was about growing into manhood; sophomoric antics notwithstanding, we aspired to be grown-ups. Our models, sartorial and otherwise, were our fathers and our friends’ fathers, those stout fellows, which sounds hopelessly square but speaks volumes about who we were. “There is the presence of a father…a force of counsel and support that would have carried one, well-equipped, into manhood,” John Cheever wrote in his journal. “One does not invest the image with brilliance or wealth; it is simply a man in a salt and pepper tweed, sometimes loving, sometimes irascible, and sometimes drunk but always responsible to his son.”

Forgive me if I tend to romanticize the past. Like many of my age, I am bewildered by what it means to be an adult in a culture dominated by the values of children. How are children to be shown the way out of childhood by parents who want to be children themselves?

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to James Coulter Harberson III

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