Amherst Bans All Frats And Sororities To Change Rape Culture On Campus

Times are-a-changing. Amherst College is one of at least 55 colleges under Title IX federal investigation for mishandling sexual assault. Instead of placing bandaids on the situation, Amherst is coming down on university culture with an iron fist. The university has banned all fraternities, sororities and “underground” organizations.
Dana Bolger, a co-founder of national student-survivor activist group Know Your IX  said the university’s decision is pivotal to “challenging the pervasive culture of white male privilege and entitlement on campus.” Amherst parted ways with greek life in an official capacity in 1984, although sororities and fraternities could convene unofficially off campus.
Last year after Amherst President Carolyn L. Martin assigned a special Sexual Misconduct Oversight Committee, in response to a public on-campus rape, the committee came to the conclusion that fraternities “possess considerable ability to shape the College’s social life” and that they prevented the college “from enforcing appropriate expectations for student behavior with respect to them, including accountability under the Honor Code.”
This is a groundbreaking development because the university is actively acknowledging that the very nature of Greek Life and many of the “traditions” inherent to them promote negative and destructive behavior that is deeply connected to a culture where rape is the byproduct.
Amherst’s statement continued, “The College is better off without, than it would be with, a fraternity system. A second response would be to accept some version of the status quo, along with its contradictions and consequences, indefinitely. Such a course, in the view of the Board and the Administration, would be counterproductive and unwise. It would be counterproductive because the unregulated presence of underground fraternities would divert from social and residential life on campus and from efforts to create community at the College. It would be unwise because situations will occur when the policies of the College and the wishes of under fraternities are at cross-purposes. Such situations are not hypothetical. They are inevitable.”
Only time will tell if such drastic measures will have quantifiable results. I am unsure if this decision is the “right” decision to end rape culture on campus but it’s worth trying and examining for at least a period of time. Mostly, props to Amherst for taking this process seriously.

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