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Fraternities Admitting Women

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Excluding women from things deemed “men only” has been a controversial topic for years. One thing few, if any, seemed to fret over, however, was the gender exclusion between sororities and fraternities. Until now.

Several college and university campuses are forcing both their fraternities and sororities to become co-ed over the next three years. Their goal is to ensure equality for women, but on a larger scale, Deans are worried about something else.

Wesleyan University is one of several colleges implementing the change. They believe, like many, that all-male fraternities have become dangerous and, in some cases, unfair to women. Trinity College also made this move a few years ago which caused a drop in donations from alumni as well as a stream of complaints and negativity.

Fraternities are notorious for being about brotherhood and fully embracing masculinity, no matter what it takes. Unfortunately, they also hold the reputation of binge drinking and excessive reports of sexual assault. People have historically turned a blind eye to humiliation, partying, and hazing, but when some frat parties became the breeding ground for assaulting females, the silence had to end.

Beta Theta Pi, better known to Wesleyan students as the “rape factory”, was said to push administration into finally making the change.

The frat house is on private property, but is still part of Wesleyan’s housing. It allows upperclassmen to live off campus while still having a direct connection the the academic programs the university offers.

Despite the connection, Beta Theta Pi and Wesleyan have always had a difficult relationship. In 2010, the school even urged students to stay away from the fraternity because they couldn’t guarantee their safety there.

Kate Carlisle, the spokeswoman of the university, claimed that their decision was not linked to any particular events, and that they had been thinking about making the fraternity coed for years. Despite her claims, it seems suspicious that the decision was made only after sexual assault charges and accusations got out of hand.

Jessica Groff, NMHS English teacher and President of her sorority chapter in college says, “(Fraternities and sororities) are about relationships, not equality. As a female, I feel like my female relationships are some of the most important ones in my life.”

This raises another topic of discussion. Equality is a great thing to have, but people shouldn’t feel pressured into making decisions they don’t want to. There should be a balance between singular sex, or coed, and nothing should be forced. As Mrs. Groff stated, female relationships can be the best thing in a girl’s life. They shouldn’t be forced to join fraternities or abandon relationships in exchange for their safety.

Now the question is; will making fraternities co-ed keep women safer, or make matters worse by putting them in the same environment as those rumored to be hurting them?

 

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Fraternities Admitting Women