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Fraternity controversy at Swarthmore


Replies to: Fraternity controversy at Swarthmore

  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 2,325 Senior Member
    I was in a Fraternity for a bit while I was in college and frankly didn't do well in that environment. There were far too many distractions and I was not mature enough at the time to deal with them. There can be positives for sure in the form of relationships built and a sense of belonging. However, you are asking a group of young men on their own for the first time to live together with virtually no supervision in an environment fraught with temptations to as a group behave well. That goes terribly wrong far too often. I'm amazed they do as well as they do in most cases. The question is how to have the benefits of fraternal organizations without the dangerous incidents that we hear about all to frequently. Is there a way to eliminate alcohol from houses? Avoid having women at parties? Ban initiations? You are requiring the entire group of young men to self police. Perhaps require each fraternity to pay a residential adult supervisor who would be beholden to the university and to the national fraternities?

    Maybe integrate fraternities allowing women to join? That would certainly change the dynamic. There might be more "safe spaces" in the house if women were around other than just at parties. I've had experiences with co-ed living conditions and found that living with someone as a housemate changes your perspective somewhat. Whatever happens you have to face that person on a regular basis. There are other people around to approve or disapprove of your behavior and it will be done when everyone is sober. Relationships become less about hormones and emotion and more about cooperation. You end up associating your housemates (and to agree all others) with their unmadeup, unsexy looking selves rather than the way they choose to present themselves at parties. You might also have men and women having more heart to heart talks about what is appropriate behavior.

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,869 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    Those things ^^ have been tried. Harvard forced the issue last year and now is being sued by 4 sororities, 2 fraternities, and several single sexed groups (the Glee Clubs!)
    and found that living with someone as a housemate changes your perspective somewhat.

    This was not a 'living in' situation at Swat - they all lived other places so they are going to have to get their commune experiences in the dorms. The Harvard groups did not live in a frat or sorority houses. Those Harvard single sexed Glee Clubs were dangerous, so good thing they are gone.

    I guess those who attend private elite colleges just can't make good decisions about who they want to associate with or what kind of parties they want to attend. They find it necessary to abolish Greek life rather than just choosing not to attend a party. Neither of my kids had these issues at their non-elite colleges. One did have a death at a party, but it was off campus and not a frat party.
  • BurgermeisterBurgermeister Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    Any good models for Greek life? Hamilton College? University of Richmond?

    SPOILER ALERT. Stop reading if you don't want to know what happened in the movie.

    The tense situation prior to release of the redacted documents involved several non-fraternity members. The back stories would make for a heck of a screenplay. Reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino standoff scene. The disband vote was the frat equivalent of Henry Fonda's Failsafe or The Best Candidate.
  • 10s4life10s4life Forum Champion UCLA Posts: 2,112 Forum Champion
    @twoinanddone Yep the national orgs are starting to sign onto the suit or at least filing briefs in support. My fraternities National HQ has signed onto the suit and part of all the dues that goes to nationals is now being funneled into the legal battle.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 4,960 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    Dartmouth has coed greeklife options. Or they had these 20 years ago.

    Dartmouth was socially a bit lonely if you weren’t involved and this was an option for those who weren’t that into it.
  • apple23apple23 Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    Any good models for Greek life? Hamilton College?

    One of the benefits of Hamilton's having disallowed residential Greek life can be seen in the choice of former fraternity houses now open to all students as residence halls, including first-years:





  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,869 Senior Member
    Yep the national orgs are starting to sign onto the suit or at least filing briefs in support.

    There are two court actions, one state and one federal, with 2 sororities a named party in each suit, and at least one fraternity and several individuals and other groups named in each.

    It's not an option for the sororities to go co-ed and remain part of their national organizations.

    I understand (but don't agree) why a school doesn't want greek life on campus, but why should they care if their students join off campus organizations? Why do they care that a student wants to join a single sexed glee club, the girl scouts of America, or the Knights of Columbus? Aren't the students mature enough to decide for themselves what they want to do with their own time and who they want to spend the time with? Can a student not belong to a group that supports Women's Heart Health but meets off campus and be captain of the ski team?

    I don't get it.

  • ninakatarinaninakatarina Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    Heh. We're waiting to hear back from Swarthmore on waitlist and they hadn't notified anybody of anything yet. I guess admissions is a wee bit distracted right now.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,399 Senior Member
    I doubt that's the reason.
  • tpike12tpike12 Registered User Posts: 466 Member
    Example 5,438 of how social justice activists are never satisfied. Now the Swarthmore kids are on a hunger strike and they are demanding the resignation of the Director of Public Safety.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,869 Senior Member
    If they are successful in shutting down the fraternities and sororities, and those undesirables have to join the SJW clubs, what will they have left to protest?
  • tpike12tpike12 Registered User Posts: 466 Member
    @twoinanddone - Pretty much anything can be problematic if you think creatively, even math and milk have been criticized as white supremacist.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,869 Senior Member
    Okay, as long as they will still have a reason for living...
  • BurgermeisterBurgermeister Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    Things have quieted down. No drama at Worthstock yesterday. Kids now focused on finals. The admins mean well. I wish Igor, in admissions, would stop choosing applicants named A.B. Normal ;)
  • gotham_momgotham_mom Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Where will she attend college? She sounds a lot like my daughter (based on your Vassar/Wesleyan/Middlebury) post. My artsy non-athlete loves Midd and Vassar, but I think Vassar or Wes would be better fits, plus she's a NYC kid, can't imagine her being happy for 4 years in rural VT.
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