“I’m realizing how wrong that was to place my personal benefit over how much harm [Greek life] does to students on campus,” Buonomo told me. Under the handle @abolishnugreeklife, the account’s first post declared: “This is a call to dismantle Greek Life at Northwestern University”. “I think without Greek life there’d still be a bit of social stratification, and it would probably still be along race and class lines.”. At Northwestern, Greek life has long been a pillar of campus social life. Chances are they’re going to be just recruiting people who are similar to them.”. News; ... Students at other colleges, like Northwestern University, Duke University and the University of Richmond, created accounts in the same model, sparking a nationwide debate over Greek life’s place on campuses. Earlier this summer, sororities were roiled by the anti-Greek life movement while frats seemed untouched. Megan Munce of The Daily Northwestern - “Your dues are political.” A bright yellow Instagram post with this claim on the first slide rapidly spread throughout the Northwestern Greek community in late July, representing the first time many Northwestern students had heard of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee. Despite having spread across multiple campuses, the Abolish Greek Life movement is small, Horras says. I’m a current junior at Northwestern, and I’ve read a lot recently about the “Abolish Greek Life” movement. “PHA has failed its purpose of serving as an inclusive space meant to empower all women and nonbinary people, and has continuously reaffirmed the patriarchy, binary gender roles, and heteronormativity … It is our firm belief that the harm done by PHA, regardless of intent, is irreparable and no amount of apologies or reform can lead to restorative justice.”. It will be a test for Greek life and the Abolish Greek Life movement alike. From the Archives: Calls to Abolish Greek Life of Philosopher Socrates, Forced to Drink Hemlock “I mean for Zeus’ sake, we’ve barely just invented math, we don’t have time for philosophy!” 3 weeks ago Lexie Brown has different routines for different parts of her day. But even before the Abolish Greek Life Movement, women held serious doubts about whether Greek life was sustainable, given its clash with their goals and values. Out of the University’s 8,000 plus student population, about 20 percent of undergraduates participate in Greek life, according to the most recent Associated Student Government analytics survey. Diversity initiatives wouldn’t work because exclusivity and social tiering were kind of the point of the whole Greek thing. I believe that the movement has its merits — Greek life perpetuates racism, classism, and sexism through its recruiting practices, “rape culture” and objectification through the nature of its parties and social structure, and receives undue school support for donation reasons. Catherine Buchaniec, ReporterJuly 27, 2020. The way Christie Smythe blew up her life for love is harrowing, utterly bananas, and perfectly understandable. Northwestern hasn’t yet resumed in-person classes. Greek life back on? “Greek life at Northwestern perpetuates racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, complicity in sexual assault, and other forms of systemic oppression, just as it … “We must abolish these organizations which are embedded with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and classism.”. The Sorority That Tried to Abolish Itself. The Undoing’s Helicopter Scene Was a Perfect Cap to 2020. According to a poll on Northwestern’s subreddit page, 143 people indicated they were part of NU Greek life and plan to disaffiliate as of Monday night. Wandering into one of the houses means you might find the face of a famous alum smiling off the wall, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Meghan Markle. One senior member said Zeta was actually one of the most diverse sororities at the school, but that, to her knowledge, there had only been two Black members during her three years in the chapter. The Zoom call looked performative to her, just like the activism taking place on social media. Several members estimated there would only be 20 or so members out of around 100 left, leaving mostly executive members and champions of reform. As Americans started a fresh reckoning with systemic racism this summer season, some school college students, saved residence from college attributable to December 17, 2020. Jewish girls were often paired only with other Jewish girls, international students paired only with other international students, and Asian girls paired only with other Asian girls. The FratPAC, which receives funding from Greek national organizations, advocates for “Greek interests” in Washington, and disproportionately donates money to Republican candidates. “Zeta publicly prided itself on diversity and inclusion,” the post read, “but as a BIPOC in the chapter (and one of the few) there was a ton of subtle (or maybe not so subtle?) As anyone who’s been involved in campus activism knows, this is the main hurdle student movements face — everyone leaves in four years. So each member was left individually to decide if they’ll stay or go, presenting another opportunity for existential debate about the virtues of “abolition” versus “reform” — directly inspired by this summer’s protests. I thought that got canceled? “This is a call to dismantle Greek Life at Northwestern University,” read its first post, not dissimilar to other pages popping up at schools like Vanderbilt, Tufts, and Duke. “Exclusionary practices are still there. © 2020 Vox Media, LLC. — Anonymous social media posts paint picture of sexual assault in Greek life “Just deactivating is separating myself from the problem and not really doing anything about it,” the PHA member said. There is a movement afoot at NU to abolish Greek life. The link to the webinar will be emailed within one business day of the start of the webinar. According to one student, “The national representative’s response was basically, ‘I’m sorry I can’t help it if you’re below the poverty line.’” (Zeta Tau Alpha’s international office did not return a request for comment. The cost of membership, she told me, was a “huge consideration” when deciding to rush, but luckily, the price of living at Zeta cost less than expensive on-campus housing. But even before the Abolish Greek Life Movement, women held serious doubts about whether Greek life was sustainable, given its clash with their goals and values. But calls to abolish Greek life should not only focus on recent events – it is a necessary response to an unhealthy pattern of binge drinking culture that has existed for years. But this year, that decision is impacted by a combination of the existing perceptions of what Greek life is like and the current movement to abolish Greek life at Northwestern. Tensions were running high when one Zeta member brought up her struggle to afford the sorority’s dues, which can exceed $1,000 a year. This weekend, the Panhellenic Association had a meeting with chapter presidents about the issue of abolition. The term for … This reputation was part of what drew Buonomo to the chapter, and helped her realize it was the kind of community she’d been looking for. Northwestern seemed different. It will be a test for Greek life and the Abolish Greek Life … Daily article linked below. ), The Best (Last-Minute) Virtual Gifts for Everyone on Your List. “If I say I care about undoing gender-based violence, then why am I associating with fraternities that perpetuate that and do not have any accountability?” says Augustine. The ongoing push to end Greek life. “Maybe Zeta was a little less diverse than Northwestern as a whole,” says Buonomo. Zeta went into a tailspin. Log in or link your magazine subscription, Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images, The Sorority That Tried to Abolish Itself, The Most Powerful Astrological Day of the Year Is Here, Martin Shkreli’s Long History of Harassing Female Journalists, How This WNBA Player Gets Her Skin So Good. Gamma Phi has yet to meet as a chapter to discuss abolition. “We must abolish these organizations which are embedded with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism.” Soon the account had published hundreds of posts from students alleging exactly those things. Daily article linked below. An Alpha Epsilon Pi member told me he predicted about 50 percent of his own brothers to disaffiliate. No one doubted publicly that what the post said was true, or tried to pretend it didn’t happen — everyone started sharing it in their own Instagram Stories, one sister told me. Evaluating this “clusterfuck” of problems together — from the accusations in the Instagram post to the problems with recruitment and the frustration with “nationals” — members felt they were all endemic to Greek life. It was a whole clusterfuck really.”, This was a point the students kept coming back to: the rush process itself felt impossible to reform. Overall the meeting really showed me how Greek life, as it was designed, is meant to stay entrenched on this campus.” Zeta is a 122-year-old institution, which has grown into a sisterhood of over 270,000 women by upholding tradition. ), Soon the conversation turned to the recruitment (or “rush”) process, in which potential new members are paired together for casual chatting with current members or other “PNMs” of the sorority. I was usually met with blank stares and disinterest. In oversimplified campus lingo, the sorority had decided to cancel herself. Her mother, a dance major from The University of Texas at Austin, became her first ballet instructor and instilled Corley’s love for dance. As part of the Abolish Greek Life movement, Northwestern’s chapter of Gamma Phi Beta voted to relinquish its charter this summer and was … Regarding the problems with rush and @abolishnugreeklife, the national organization promised vague new “diversity and inclusion initiatives,” but the students saw this as nothing more than lip service. UW-Madison feminism magazine calls to abolish all white fraternities on campus ... MORE: Northwestern students want Greek life abolished, accuse it of white elitism. Across the quad at Gamma Phi Beta, the members successfully voted to dissolve their chapter. Yes!’ At least part of the conversation I heard felt like very white savior stuff. staying and getting larger/more powerful. “We should abolish Greek life at NU, and it wouldn’t be as hard as you think,” Aaron Boxerman said in an Oct. 9 op-ed in Northwestern’s daily newspaper. Northwestern’s Panhellenic Association, which governs 11 chapters, released a statement acknowledging its harmful history and current movement to abolish Greek life on campus. Students at other colleges, like Northwestern University, Duke University and the University of Richmond, created accounts in the … All they had to do was the simple work of reading the writing on the wall — or Instagram page. In the past, this phenomenon has happened with chapters that are either new to campus or are struggling with recruiting. In fact, it was not apparent that anyone wanted to stay in Zeta. At the same time, I just feel stuck. Move to the Rant Board if the discussion gets too Ranty. Instead, the national organization would form its membership through existing members that voted against disbandment as well as through the heavy recruitment of incoming freshmen, according to Zeta members who were at the meeting. Including a viral sex diary, the end of millennial aesthetics, and the family YouTubers who gave up their child. At Northwestern, Hader said, shutting down Greek life would require a vote by the university’s Board of Trustees. For me, watching the Housewives behave badly in public has benefits beyond escapism. However, he added that membership numbers are usually handled by individual fraternities alongside their national organizations. Known more colloquially as FratPAC,… “Mass wave” of disaffiliation from Sigma Nu amid calls to abolish Greek life Daily Northwestern | 23d After their numbers began dwindling following a “mass wave” of disaffiliation, newly appointed executive board president J.R. Hecimovich said he doesn’t know what the future holds for the Sigma Nu chapter at Northwestern. 4 Michigan State in Big Ten opener, Football: Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome declares for 2021 NFL Draft. All the Time I Wasted Trying to Please Indifferent Men. Even if all current members of her sorority quit right now, national leaders could quickly start building the chapter anew. Throughout July, members in all 12 of the PHA sororities and at least three IFC fraternities have debated abolition among select members, with the University’s Zeta Tau Alpha chapter meeting with its national organization last Thursday. Check out the full digital publication available onIssuu. It has been shocking to watch the same students who formerly resisted the idea begin a movement I had dreamed of for years. For them, friendship isn’t the main draw of a fraternity. To nationals, the idea of even one chapter attempting to abolish itself must sound like a bad alarm for their future in a world with ever-evolving cultural norms. One of the two first openly gay Black men to be elected to Congress, Jones is already a rising progressive star. “This shit is not just a trend on Instagram,” read one post. “It was almost like every single person I knew was doing it, and I didn’t have a single friend who wasn’t. Zeta was also incredibly white — like much of Northwestern. Though GPhi is essentially dead, she is still worried “nationals” will reverse the decision in a few years when everyone has graduated and there are new students on campus. “Abolish Greek Life” movement. For Zeta, the chapter’s rush practices were the most significant thing they had to answer for. Thompson and a number of other disillusioned students, both ex-Greeks and not, began to organize. “I came into college as someone who never really partied in high school. Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881, The Daily Northwestern • © 2020 The Daily Northwestern • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNO • Log in, Anonymous social media posts paint picture of sexual assault in Greek life, IFC votes “no” to SAE full membership in Monday vote. Suffice to say, it’s hard to imagine Northwestern without Greek life. It will be a test for Greek life and the Abolish Greek Life … According to Logan, unless a chapter’s charter is revoked, an organization’s national headquarters can send representatives to campus to help rebuild the chapter and host recruiting events. Meet Emilie Bouge, the nose behind Cire Trudon’s cult-favorite candles. Discuss amongst yourselves. No new quotas or initiatives would fix what they viewed as ingrained racism. Similar changes that fix current problems, in her mind, are completely possible. We must abolish it,” states a Change.org petition created by the Abolish Greek Life movement, which is made up largely of former fraternity and sorority members who have left their organizations in protest of what they say is the toxic and bigoted nature of historically White fraternities and sororities (HWFS). One senior member of color who is staying in Zeta is afraid of what kind of sorority it will become if this happens. “Anyone who was in the sorority would judge you if you didn’t [want to] leave,” says one recently graduated student who was part of the conversations. If the students decide “abolition” is their preferred path and leave the sorority, their spots are likely to be filled during the next rush period, when the national organization is predicted by students to send in representatives to recruit a full chapter again. The model, singer and co-parent (with Slick Woods) on tokenism in fashion and being sexually fluid. Advocates for abolition accused the Greek life system of promoting elitist and racist attitudes, according to an anonymous Instagram page that publishes stories about the … Brock Colyar, New York Magazine October 12, 2020. Here is information about the chapters of Fraternities and Sororities at Northwestern University. By Katherine LeClair Staff Writer Dancer and choreographer Annie Corley (C’20) first graced Sewanee’s stage at age four at the Sewanee Dance Conservatory. NU’s Delta Zeta has also met as a chapter within the past week to discuss the implications of disbandment. There is a movement afoot at NU to abolish Greek life. But if you look at posts tagged “Zeta Tau Alpha at Northwestern University,” you will find a post of three, white, blonde sisters posing with a fake golden retriever. “I think before a lot of us acknowledged ‘yeah this is problematic’ but still participated,” says Kathryn Augustine, another junior. Zeta is not the only sorority at Northwestern encountering this catch-22 of trying to disband. “The fact that you’re making decisions on someone’s character based off a five-minute conversation,” says Buonomo, “I think inherently you’re going to be judging on appearance or socio-economic class.” Cassidy Wang, an Asian-American member, told me, “When you have an overwhelmingly white chapter like every chapter on this campus, it’s going to be hard for people of different races to break [through] that door. Mkrtychian said she reached out to some of the commenters asking for more information on their experiences with Greek life and her sorority. Abolish NU IFC/PHA Greek Life (@abolishnugreeklife) added a photo to their Instagram account: “We are following in the footsteps of our peers at other universities to demand the disbanding and…” The sorority received backlash in the post’s comments section, with some calling the post performative. Freshie here. Many of her sisters were like-minded students, passionate about social justice, and often involved in sexual health and feminist groups on campus. “Right after rush ended, the white women all became friends only with each other and left out any BIPOC women unless it was an official event,” the post concluded. “Abolish Greek Life” movement. Medill sophomore Julia Mkrtychian, a member of NU’s Gamma Phi Beta, said she was wary about joining Greek life prior to the PHA recruitment process in January. According to the AEPi member I spoke with, the boys didn’t agonize over the decision as much. But many members — including Buonomo, Augustine, and Wang — are disaffiliating anyway. After moving to Dallas and taking a two-year hiatus… Around the country, parties and gatherings hosted by Greek organizations have shown a trend we know to be true – a reckless disregard for others and ignorance of public health and safety guidelines is inherent in Greek life. racism within the chapter.” It claimed that a white member had said they should rush “fewer minorities,” and that other members “proudly” stated that “Zetas are blonde.” The sorority’s “dehumanizing” recruitment practices paired up sisters of color with prospective new members based solely on race, according to the poster. They called for an emergency Zoom call with the chapter’s executive board, where the conversation quickly turned to one question: should we abolish ourselves or not? The Board intends to hold a meeting with all the IFC presidents later this week to discuss abolition. Scrolling through the chapter’s Instagram, you won’t find any images suited for the university’s perfectly diverse advertising. Abolish NU IFC/PHA Greek Life has 297 photos and videos on their Instagram profile. Find all of the latest information on greek life news and students. Most students who are members of historically Black fraternities and sororities have no plans to drop; at Vanderbilt and other schools, the Abolish Greek Life movement … For members in Zeta and other sororities considering disbandment, abolition would leave members set to live in Greek housing in a precarious position. Ultimately, she opted to join Gamma Phi after discussing her apprehension and the possibility of reform with older members in the chapter. Checkmate. For first-years, the transition to college is full of choices, one of which being the decision whether or not to rush. Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life 847-491-2350 email@example.com Student Engagement A Dress Made Out of Beautiful Green Algae. Even if all members vote for abolition, the national organization still has the ability to recruit. We must abolish it,” states a Change.org petition created by the Abolish Greek Life movement, which is made up largely of former fraternity and sorority members who have left their organizations in protest of what they say is the toxic and bigoted nature of historically White fraternities and sororities (HWFS). Mkrtychian said she intends to deactivate but has to wait until after this year due to housing issues. If the national organization chooses to veto the NU chapter‘s vote, the organization can opt to keep Zeta on campus. According to a former recruitment chair, Zeta had a history of pairing people up based on racial or ethnic stereotypes. — IFC votes “no” to SAE full membership in Monday vote, Football: Leota, McGowan among six Northwestern players to enter transfer portal, Men’s Basketball: Boo Buie scores a career-high 30 points in win over No. “Because they suspended the charter rather than revoking it, they can reestablish the Northwestern Gamma Phi Beta chapter at any time,” she says. Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee. As one student told me then, “The fraternities have been almost completely silent.” But now, the student newspaper reports, about 75 percent of Sigma Nu’s members have disaffiliated. In a series of 117 interviews with 53 sorority women conducted over the course of three years, study participants consistently talked about three recurrent issues, according to the study. Sheridan Bernard, a junior at Northwestern and Vice President of Chi Omega’s Xi chapter, says that while the creation of the Abolish Greek Life account was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the chapter had been in meetings regarding racism and exclusion for the past year. The ongoing push to end Greek life Efforts to abolish Greek life are not new. Find all of the latest information on greek life news and students. This whole abolish NU Greek life is going to end with the system getting MORE exclusive and LESS diverse, because it's going to push the frats/srats who are more inclusive/diverse off campus because those people are the only ones who will care enough to disassociate. On a personal level, the sorority was also what helped Buonomo through the overwhelming first quarters of college, while getting treatment for an eating disorder, changing majors, and dealing with the academic workload. Students who participate in sororities and fraternities are at a higher risk of binge drinking in college and sustained binge drinking later in life. Mkrtychian, a first-generation college student, said her concerns stemmed from what she said was Greek life’s problematic reputation and classist behavior. This whole abolish NU Greek life is going to end with the system getting MORE exclusive and LESS diverse, because it's going to push the frats/srats who are more inclusive/diverse … today i got an email advertising and saying to lookout for events so I can learn more about sororities/frats on campus and recruiting. “Might as well try to change as much of the norm as possible if you can.”, Already a subscriber? Its members knew they needed to take immediate action. Some of the Instagram posts called out specific sororities or fraternities. Vanderbilt’s Greek rush process, in which potential new members are sorted into fraternities and sororities, will conclude at the beginning of the upcoming spring semester. How Representative Mondaire Jones Will Get It Done. The Martin Shkreli Romance Saga Is Already Wrapping Up. “If you truly want to abolish you will actively tell people not to join, you will actively stop people from going to frat parties … and you WILL deactivate and not wait until you graduate to post on your story about your shame.”. I felt like if I didn’t rush, it would just set me behind socially.” Another student told me they have maybe one friend who isn’t part of the system in some way. In a series of 117 interviews with 53 sorority women conducted over the course of three years, study participants consistently talked about three recurrent issues, according to the study. However, members who voted for disbandment would not be allowed to remain part of the organization, forcing them to deactivate. “Mass wave” of disaffiliation from Sigma Nu amid calls to abolish Greek life Daily Northwestern | 23d After their numbers began dwindling following a “mass wave” of disaffiliation, newly appointed executive board president J.R. Hecimovich said he doesn’t know what the future holds for the Sigma Nu chapter at Northwestern. All rights reserved. But Greek organizations have violated … Wang says she felt “They were willing to do whatever they could to get in our way of disbanding the chapter. At Northwestern, Hader said, shutting down Greek life would require a vote by the university’s Board of Trustees. Another sophomore member of PHA, who wished to remain anonymous, said she supports abolition but has not yet deactivated because she wants her vote to count for abolition if her sorority ultimately decides to vote on the issue. They wrote in with stories about feeling excluded by predominantly white chapters on campus (“I can’t emphasize enough that if you are a woman of color it will NOT be worth it to contribute to a system that wasn’t built for people like us.”) Others recounted everything from sexual assault, to struggling to pay expensive dues, and unsuccessfully rushing fraternities and sororities as nonbinary and trans students. But that’s exactly what some students and alumni are doing. Even if disbandment has the support of the majority of Zeta members on campus, the national organization can overrule the vote. The undergraduate class of 2023 is about 54 percent white, but many of the university’s schools have over 70 percent white tenure-track faculty. “I don’t think change will happen if nationals are responsible for recruitment of our new pledge class,” she said. “I really thought (Gamma Phi) would be the sorority to start changing things.”. Greek life has always threatened public health and safety on campuses – and now the COVID-19 pandemic is showing it. Because an e-book is a perfect last-minute present. “You want to be talking to people that are similar to you and that’s how you end up joining a chapter: finding people that you relate to most. [But] you obviously don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or targeted or like they don’t belong. Abolish Greek Life Debate Reflects Nation’s Tensions: Here’s How. Sororities moved much more quickly, but they also struggled with leaving behind what felt to them like much-needed, all-female community in an environment where sexual assault is a frequent topic of concern. One mentioned a sorority sister who bragged about her “Aryan” looks and her Mayflower-descended ancestors. Who was your favorite speaker/performer of Winter Quarter? At Northwestern, the Greek system is the absolute authority on social life. There’s a refrain commonly heard on Northwestern’s campus: “Greek life here is not like it is elsewhere.” It’s a not so subtle sign that Northwestern considers itself different from state schools, or Southern schools, or schools that aren’t “elite.” The sororities at Northwestern are housed in castle-like dorms surrounding a green grassy lawn, located a few blocks from sparkling blue Lake Michigan in a wealthy suburb of Chicago. Under the handle @abolishnugreeklife, the account’s first post declared: “This is a call to dismantle Greek Life at Northwestern University”. Abolish Greek Life Panel Discussion Presented by ACPA's Commission for Student Involvement Register to receive the access link to this webinar taking place on 14 December 2020 // 1:00PM EST. It remains to be seen if students will keep pushing this agenda when the fraternities and sororities begin throwing parties again and trendy abolitionist beliefs can be traded in for cheap liquor in a Solo cup. In the midst of the George Floyd protests in July, a new Instagram account appeared. A 1900 account from Northwestern reported that fraternity men conspired to ensure that only they received scholarships, ... and there will be more unless we end Greek life … Let me be clear: Abolition is the only answer. Even the most progressive, feminist, anti-racist student groups were filled with sorority members resistant to change. Suffice to say, it’s hard to imagine Northwestern without Greek life. “Maybe our members aren’t meaning to but they’re profiling,” the student says. We’re just being replaced.”. A graduate of an all-girls Catholic school, Buonomo felt it was important to have an all-female community in her life, especially while navigating campus party culture. 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