The American fraternity system was one of the few place on university campuses that was still not invaded by women, but that is all about to change…
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 precedent has been set. What was cleverly disguised as an alcohol problem, thus the need to make fraternities coed (because women never drink or encourage drinking), is now being framed as an equal rights issue. Once again no space that is sacred to male bonding is safe from a feminist invasion and subsequent dismantling.
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.
“Our residential Greek organizations inspire loyalty, community and independence. That’s why all our students should be eligible to join them,” Roth and Boger wrote. “Although this change does not affect nonresidential organizations, we are hopeful that groups across the University will continue to work together to create a more inclusive, equitable and safer campus.”
By forcing fraternities to open up to women are you not in essence removing their freedom to organize membership as they wish? Or is this a case of the neo-liberal freedoms (and restrictions) trump all other freedoms, especially the few freedoms that are afforded to men.
Peter Smithhisler, the chief executive of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, said any school that dictates what type of organizations students can join is “inhibiting fundamental principles of freedom of expression and freedom of association upon which our country is premised and upon which it functions.
“It is essential that fraternities be allowed to decide for themselves if they wish to offer co-ed membership,” said Smithhisler, whose trade association represents 74 male fraternities.
I imagine this means men can now join Sororities as well…late night pillow fights and and all.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.