This Thursday, Stanford Athletics is hosting a “Greek Night” at the men’s basketball game. In an effort to encourage members of the Greek community to attend, they are offering prizes to the IFC, ISC and multicultural Greek organizations with the highest percentage of members at the event. The prize for the fraternity with the best…
In 2011, students from a fraternity at the University of Vermont circulated an email with the subject line “who do you want to rape list?” In 2010, Delta Kappa Epsilon members at Yale paraded around campus chanting what The Yale Daily News would later deem “an active call for sexual violence.”
Greek life has often found itself at the center of the sexual assault discussion nationwide. Although this issue is not isolated to Greek life, media and society often buy into a negative stigma of frequent sexual assault in the Greek community, often painting Greek life in a negative light.
This year, many Greek institutions at Stanford and their members are pushing back against this stigma. Madeleine Lippey ’18, philanthropy chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma, started a campaign called No More to help bring awareness to the issue and spur tangible action.
Articles about Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) were some of The Daily’s most read stories over the last two years, but an extensive account about what happened was never published. SAE declined to comment publicly for every past article regarding the situation. Then their alumni advisor reached out to us in June 2015.
It was powerful to witness and take part in this tide of collective consciousness. It was also easy to copy and paste, pat myself on the back, and forget about racial justice in the long term. Now that the news cycle is done with Mizzou, how can we, who declared our allyship last week, outlive the transience of hashtag activism?
The lessons this history teaches are that houses are imperfect and divided, and do change. I hope that you and the Stanford community–including the active SAE brethren–will take these to heart.
I am the student who was subjected to “intimidating and retaliatory conduct” based on a “false belief that [I] had reported Title IX concerns” whose experience was cited by the University in its recent decision regarding SAE. My story is a story of sexual harassment and retaliation against a Title IX witness. And unfortunately, it is a story shared by many people on this campus and beyond.
If we want to make serious changes to the composition of our Greek organizations, it will require more than empty statements of encouragement and occasional critiques of the rush process. In order for minorities to want to be apart of Greek organizations, we must make them welcome, which may require a drastic alteration of Greek practices.
On Wednesday Stanford’s campus was filled with all varieties of denim from skinny jeans to decorated vests. However, the event was more than just a fashion statement; it was an international social protest in solitude with victims of sexual violence.