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Fraternity controversy at Swarthmore

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Replies to: Fraternity controversy at Swarthmore

  • Leigh22Leigh22 634 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 643 Member
    I also take issue with it @wisteria100. Like “oh well, boys will be boys”.
    But I will say that the majority of young men who behave this way learned this disrespect well before their college years. Which goes back to the point that someone made about such individuals seeking out Greek life because it provides an environment for this behavior.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12507 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,738 Senior Member
    [quote @EyeVeee When asked, by the strictest definition she was assaulted during that period of time. Inappropriate touch here...."squeezing" through the crowds there...a bit grabby as she described it. It wasn't a surprise, and it happened repeatedly over the years. Anyone looking at it objectively would know it's not right, but you would also appreciate it is a pretty standard, and (for fear of creating a firestorm) harmless act. [/quote]

    @wisteria100 I agree. Nothing about that is OK or harmless.
    I say harmless, because if you feel harmed...you leave and don't return.

    Strangers on the subway could be "a bit grabby" (or a lot, honestly) and I would still take the subway to school. Until I was older I didn't even confront them, it just seemed like the price of admission for subway riding as a teenager. I just moved away quietly, if possible. Not riding the subway was not a realistic option.

    I'd like to think in a college party I'd confront a grabber, but peer pressure is a powerful thing and if only one group (two Greek orgs) have the party houses, then would I be taking a step that would ban me from parties for the rest of college?

    I'd probably just quietly move away from them too, if i'm being honest.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,935 Senior Member
    I disagree with the point EyeVee makes about grabbing and inappropriate touching at crowded parties being ‘harmless’. I think it’s icky

    Yes, this sentence stood out to me as well. I do think Swat as a community tends to be rather "overwrought" in reacting (and sometimes overreacting) to events on campus. It is one of the main reasons my kid turned them down (they were in her top 3 final choices a few years ago). But I am not convinced that this happens in other party venues around campuses - dorm parties, open student spaces, etc. The cramped confines of a frat house, and the nooks & rooms that women can be taken to (often while under the influence of alcohol or even rape drugs) mean this type of "handling" is a lot more common at frat parties. I also, honestly, think the "all male" macho vibe of the frat house makes it kind of locker room like most of the time, and lends normalizing to behavior that they wouldn't engage in if women were more present (as they are in dorms). Like I lived in a co-ed co-op house in college for a while. We had parties, and no one ever groped anybody (unless they were already dating, anyway). But if it had been all male... might have been a different story.
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  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee 670 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 677 Member
    But if it had been all male... might have been a different story.
    My understanding is that they were very much mixed parties. I can't say 50/50, but the girls sports teams would attend as a group(s).
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76630 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,296 Senior Member
    EyeVeee wrote:
    I honestly think colleges are too strict with alcohol policies, which results in pre-gaming and binging.

    When colleges have to worry about alcohol age laws (that inconveniently-for-them split traditional age college students into legal and illegal categories with respect to alcohol) and lawsuit risk for alcohol related misconduct, it may not be too surprising that colleges that have substantial exposure (e.g. on-campus dorms, on-campus social events, campus-affiliated fraternities, etc.) want to have rules to minimize such risks.
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  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee 670 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 677 Member
    @ucbalumnus - I appreciate the legal / risk issues, but at some point, you put the students at risk. Pregaming, hard alcohol, off-campus drinking. Protecting yourself legally knowing you're putting your community at risk has its own ethical (and possibly legal) issues.
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  • liska21liska21 629 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 639 Member
    But if it had been all male... might have been a different story.
    My understanding is that they were very much mixed parties. I can't say 50/50, but the girls sports teams would attend as a group(s).

    @intparent meant (I think) that if the house had been an all-male space.

    I too lived in co-ed co-ops (20-40) people and definitely groping would not have been tolerated at our parties. There would be no thought of retaliation (banned from parties) for complaining. The offender would have been brought before the house in a meeting and then kicked out if they continued creepy behavior. But in a co-ed house, half the members think groping is unacceptable so it's a totally different dynamic. I dated a frat guy for a year and spent a lot of time at frat parties. It was fun. I'm not a ban-frats person, but the fact is that behavior is condoned, ignored, shrugged off in frats that would never be condoned/allowed in dorms or co-ed houses.
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  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee 670 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 677 Member
    @liska21 - There is no all-male space in the Frats at Swat. The brothers live in the dorms with the other students (generally co-ed.....including bathrooms in many instances). The "house" was just a place to gather.
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  • tpike12tpike12 491 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 500 Member
    The "other" problem at Swat is the weakness of school leadership to engage with those who are offended without being held, hostage. The genesis of this thread is that Swat always "pays the ransom". The bandits in this situation start as a relatively small minority of (rightfully) offended students, but their deeper motivations are the desire to feel like they made a difference. "I don't like something, so I'm going to destroy it and those associated with it to feel better about my intellectual wokeness". At a school like Swat, just like those who didn't stand up against the brothers who did this, the "intellectuals" quickly distribute the pitchforks and start going door to door looking for Frankenstein ('s monster).

    And right on cue, the “woke brigade” occupied the Presidents Office making more demands.

    I know the administration has had it with the whole circus and the violations of the student code of contact by the protesters.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76630 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,296 Senior Member
    edited May 3
    EyeVeee wrote:
    I appreciate the legal / risk issues, but at some point, you put the students at risk. Pregaming, hard alcohol, off-campus drinking. Protecting yourself legally knowing you're putting your community at risk has its own ethical (and possibly legal) issues.

    If you want the campus to provide a "safe space" for your alcohol use, then do not be surprised if it imposes rules that attempt to keep it "safe".

    Or you can attend a public university and live off campus. If you have a fraternity, do not affiliate with the campus if you want to avoid its rules. Then you will be responsible for your own risk management.
    edited May 3
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  • tpike12tpike12 491 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 500 Member
    edited May 3
    Swarthmore always had a very liberal alcohol policy because they wanted to keep the kids on campus. It’s probably not good if this results in socializing and partying going off campus where you get vehicles involved.
    edited May 3
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22143 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,157 Senior Member
    Or you can attend a public university and live off campus. If you have a fraternity, do not affiliate with the campus if you want to avoid its rules. Then you will be responsible for your own risk management.

    This is very risky. Unaffiliated groups do exist, but then the school has no control. Most of the university of Colorado's frats are off campus groups. They've been doing fine for about 15 years, but they require a lot of 'adult supervision' from alums. This doesn't work for new groups or non-national fraternities.

    It would seem all Swat needs to do is take away the party houses. The fraternities can still exist but would just have to have meetings in other places like conference rooms, and parties in other places like empty fields or at private houses. Not having fraternity houses on campus is not unique. Many colleges don't provide houses on campus.
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  • yourmommayourmomma 1322 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,323 Senior Member
    I too lived in co-ed co-ops (20-40) people and definitely groping would not have been tolerated at our parties. There would be no thought of retaliation (banned from parties) for complaining. The offender would have been brought before the house in a meeting and then kicked out if they continued creepy behavior. But in a co-ed house, half the members think groping is unacceptable so it's a totally different dynamic. I dated a frat guy for a year and spent a lot of time at frat parties. It was fun. I'm not a ban-frats person, but the fact is that behavior is condoned, ignored, shrugged off in frats that would never be condoned/allowed in dorms or co-ed houses.

    Would it be condoned in bars? What happens when it happens in bars?
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  • AriBenSionAriBenSion 56 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    edited May 3
    Why not ban all drugs and alcohol at greek houses? I don't understand how keeping it "in house" makes things any better. Most of the students are underage anyway. Of course kids will always find a way to drink, but at least the colleges won't be responsible or condoning it. Plus with Gen Z the risk of expulsion would be a very powerful disincentive.
    edited May 3
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76630 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,296 Senior Member
    This is very risky. Unaffiliated groups do exist, but then the school has no control. Most of the university of Colorado's frats are off campus groups. They've been doing fine for about 15 years, but they require a lot of 'adult supervision' from alums. This doesn't work for new groups or non-national fraternities.

    Note that this was in response (after a few intervening subthread posts) to reply #75 at https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/22236575/#Comment_22236575 , where @EyeVeee complained that "colleges are too strict with alcohol policies". So if s/he does not want what s/he sees as too-strict college supervision to manage the risk of his/her alcohol use, then s/he is free to make choices that avoid such college supervision, but then s/he would be responsible for his/her own risk management.

    I.e. s/he cannot have it both ways, with the college protecting him/her from his/her own alcohol-related risks while being lenient about alcohol use that leads to increased risks.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22143 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,157 Senior Member
    Why not ban all drugs and alcohol at greek houses?

    Well, the sororities have done that and it works just fine. Would it work at fraternities?
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  • 10s4life10s4life 2162 replies46 discussionsForum Champion UCLA Posts: 2,208 Forum Champion
    edited May 3
    I think this is an underlying problem with Swarthmore and other non regulated campus Greek life. At UCLA their Greek system is heavily regulated from a student level. The Interfraternity Executive Council and Panhellenic Executive Council have widespread regulatory power to govern their respective chapters and report to the University. The student run councils have taken proactive steps like mandating professional security and bar tenders at all in house events, limiting the number of registered parties a fraternity can host per quarter, huge punishments for unregistered events/hazing, banning hard alcohol, instituting dry recruitment that is heavily regulated by software, parties require a university ID and they must swipe using a scanner upon entrance to each house, each fraternity has a risk management team that is sober at parties (about 5-10 brothers). These are some of the steps and has resulted in very few hospital transports and keeps everyone safe while allowing people to have fun. UCLA Greek life is thriving with over 4,500 members in regular social frats and sororities. Safety and partying can go hand in hand.
    edited May 3
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5059 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,126 Senior Member
    edited May 3
    Just don’t go to frat parties or join one of you don’t like them. It’s a perfectly reasonable response.

    Be very strict on violators. Expulsion.
    Over time they will wither and die on their own or change.

    Also, when did someone squeezing by you at a crowded party become groping?

    edited May 3
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