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  #16  
Old 09-18-2020, 03:22 PM
ForrestGrump ForrestGrump is offline
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In most cases, or at least with my organization, the undergrads do not determine whether their chapter remains open--and it definitely shouldn't be done by majority vote. If you want to resign, then resign. If the anti-segregationist members of Sigma Nu didn't stand up and fight in the late 60s, who knows where we'd be as an organization today?

The chapter had 26 men, so it's probably at the bottom of the social pecking order anyhow and maybe these guys were just looking for an excuse to get out?
No, this wasn't about popularity or social pecking orders. Greek life at American University seems to be a bit of a mess these days. Although it's a diverse campus with students from all over the country (though majority East Coast), there have been several well-publicized incidents of racism and sexual harassment/assault on campus in recent years. Many sorority women have also claimed that there is a "rape culture" among fraternities that has long gone unaddressed, despite many complaints. What the article doesn't say is that there was an incident during the last academic year involving a Delt brother openly spewing racist insults, along with other complaints which got them into hot water with the university and IFC. The membership's vote to "disband" happened before any disciplinary action might have been taken. So did the Delts have a "come to Jesus moment" regarding issues of institutional racism, diversity and matters of social justice, or did they simply cut and run out of embarrassment and a belief that the hammer was about to drop? Or perhaps both were at play?

In addition, there is an active Abolish Greek Life movement on campus that seems to have really taken off in recent months following the BLM protests, amid concerns that Greek life is simply not compatible with greater social justice issues. As was already noted in a separate thread, the AXiD chapter at AU essentially disaffiliated itself out of existence over the spring and summer (although there is still a chartered chapter at AU), due to 1) ongoing pressure from campus and nearby community entities regarding AXiD's affiliation with Autism Speaks; 2) the lack of action by the university, IFC and Panhellenic to tackle the ongoing concerns about racism, sexual assault, etc. 3) the chapter's perception that AXiD nationals isn't doing enough to address larger issues of diversity and inclusion. Now I've read that the Phi Sigma Sigma chapter at AU has also had so many disaffiliations that it is no longer functioning, and most of the other sororities have had a lot of disaffiliations as well.

While I've gotta believe that some of these disaffiliations can be chalked up to COVID-related attrition, there does seem to be a lot of strife and turmoil in the AU Greek community these days (along with a "follow the leader" mentality when it comes to cutting and running from membership).
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  #17  
Old 09-18-2020, 04:32 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Originally Posted by ForrestGrump View Post
No, this wasn't about popularity or social pecking orders. Greek life at American University seems to be a bit of a mess these days. Although it's a diverse campus with students from all over the country (though majority East Coast), there have been several well-publicized incidents of racism and sexual harassment/assault on campus in recent years. Many sorority women have also claimed that there is a "rape culture" among fraternities that has long gone unaddressed, despite many complaints. What the article doesn't say is that there was an incident during the last academic year involving a Delt brother openly spewing racist insults, along with other complaints which got them into hot water with the university and IFC. The membership's vote to "disband" happened before any disciplinary action might have been taken. So did the Delts have a "come to Jesus moment" regarding issues of institutional racism, diversity and matters of social justice, or did they simply cut and run out of embarrassment and a belief that the hammer was about to drop? Or perhaps both were at play?

In addition, there is an active Abolish Greek Life movement on campus that seems to have really taken off in recent months following the BLM protests, amid concerns that Greek life is simply not compatible with greater social justice issues. As was already noted in a separate thread, the AXiD chapter at AU essentially disaffiliated itself out of existence over the spring and summer (although there is still a chartered chapter at AU), due to 1) ongoing pressure from campus and nearby community entities regarding AXiD's affiliation with Autism Speaks; 2) the lack of action by the university, IFC and Panhellenic to tackle the ongoing concerns about racism, sexual assault, etc. 3) the chapter's perception that AXiD nationals isn't doing enough to address larger issues of diversity and inclusion. Now I've read that the Phi Sigma Sigma chapter at AU has also had so many disaffiliations that it is no longer functioning, and most of the other sororities have had a lot of disaffiliations as well.

While I've gotta believe that some of these disaffiliations can be chalked up to COVID-related attrition, there does seem to be a lot of strife and turmoil in the AU Greek community these days (along with a "follow the leader" mentality when it comes to cutting and running from membership).
I HATE spreading gossip, especially on this site, but something else to consider, based on what I heard:

I HEARD that AU is one of the campuses that will expel you and won't release your transcripts if you're found to have participated in hazing.

IF THAT IS TRUE, then that might be another thread of what's going on there.

I went to grad school at AU in the EI days. I agree that drastic action likely needed to be taken, and it's interesting to me that it's occuring on the student level.
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  #18  
Old 09-18-2020, 09:14 PM
JonInKC JonInKC is offline
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In the 90s, my Mom saw an article in a small town newspaper entitled "Unity Club Votes to Disband". I sent it to Jay Leno. This thread reminded me of that.
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2020, 04:48 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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So did the Delts have a "come to Jesus moment" regarding issues of institutional racism, diversity and matters of social justice, or did they simply cut and run out of embarrassment and a belief that the hammer was about to drop? Or perhaps both were at play?
Here's a situation where I really think the whole paradigm of group punishment, i.e., suspending or expelling an organization for the acts of individuals, misses the mark. Organizations should be able to safely partner with schools, conduct their own investigations, and cooperate with the University as necessary without the possibility of some group action dangling over their heads even if we act completely appropriately.

If the University takes a position that it's going to abolish rape culture by expelling organizations with students accused of rape, there are perverse incentives created and organizations were more likely to button up and not cooperate than they would be to come forward.

In my own anecdotal experience, as chapter adviser, evolved to that at least where my student conduct office was concerned, they were to be treated as an adversary and not a partner. That's not how things should work, but that's how things work. I don't feel like we could trust them to deal fairly with the organization even when it completely cooperated.

At least where these students are concerned, I hope the school is able to hold guilty individuals liable for their bad acts. But organizations need to have the opportunity to police themselves and work with the school as partners rather than adversaries.

Quote:
In addition, there is an active Abolish Greek Life movement on campus that seems to have really taken off in recent months following the BLM protests, amid concerns that Greek life is simply not compatible with greater social justice issues.
And ultimately, that movement is going to fail if it continues to alienate others who are willing and able to be allies but fail their strict orthodoxy tests.
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2020, 04:54 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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What's bothering me the most is that instead of "being the change you want to see" and showing some perseverance in being change agents within their organizations, most of the students speaking to the media are just advocating for abolishment. If you want to be a change agent, I'm your champion...I'll teach you what I know, I'll support you when you've latched onto a worthy initiative, and I'll listen to your frustrations. If you want to be a "quitter" after a few weeks or a couple years in a GLO, then I'm afraid I have to say there are a lot of older sisters and brothers who have seen and experienced a lot more than you have, who know much more about our histories, and there's much more to be gained by sticking around, listening, engaging, and lending your voice than there is by casting aspersions and walking out the door.
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  #21  
Old 09-21-2020, 09:36 AM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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It's very interesting to read posts about being agents of change to help move organizations into the future when a month or two ago, there were discussions of some of these changes rendering organizations unrecognizable and useless.

Perhaps these members don't truly feel they *can* be heard, and if that's the case, why would they care about the optics on their way out?
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  #22  
Old 09-21-2020, 09:46 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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The problem is that the changes being made (eliminating preferential treatment for legacies, revising rituals) don’t always translate to a day to day change in treatment of members of groups who may have felt left out. It is more performative than anything else. You can’t legislate feelings.

Some of these chapters that are terminating themselves out of existence are probably the ones that buck the negative stereotypes the most and need to stay around the most.
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  #23  
Old 09-22-2020, 05:58 PM
Sister Havana Sister Havana is offline
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”Mass wave” of disaffiliation from Sigma Nu amid calls to abolish Greek life

This is at Northwestern University.
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  #24  
Old 09-22-2020, 07:06 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Some of these chapters that are terminating themselves out of existence are probably the ones that buck the negative stereotypes the most and need to stay around the most.
This!!!
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  #25  
Old 09-23-2020, 12:38 AM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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I don't get why some of these students try to turn in their charters and I think it's hilarious that some of their IHQs are refusing to accept them and instead, planning to re-rush for new members. How dare they attempt to throw away years of history and tradition?

I read an article by one group whose IHQ did this and it was titled something like "Forced to Exist". Remember when we used to talk about the wahhmbulance here?
I read the same article. The NPC group in question does appear rather bright in its refusal to allow chapters to vote to resign, since a majority voting to disaffiliate would mean ALL chapter members would be required to disaffiliate INCLUDING those who desire to remain affiliated. This method forces those desiring to leave the opportunity to think about other chapter sisters before themselves.
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  #26  
Old 09-23-2020, 06:59 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I feel bad for the members who really don’t want to do this and whose voices are being overrode- or who are afraid to speak up at all, for fear of being called racist/misogynist/whateverist.
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  #27  
Old 09-23-2020, 07:57 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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  #28  
Old 09-23-2020, 09:07 AM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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I feel bad for the members who really don’t want to do this and whose voices are being overrode- or who are afraid to speak up at all, for fear of being called racist/misogynist/whateverist.
I don't.

They're adults.
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  #29  
Old 09-23-2020, 09:32 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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They are, but there are a lot of shy/unsure adults.
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  #30  
Old 09-23-2020, 09:59 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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They are, but there are a lot of shy/unsure adults.
And if you're sitting in a business meeting and 75% of the members are up in arms and calling to disband, it takes a really strong person to stand up and fight back against that. And let's pretend you're the freshman who was just initiated and you're trying to stand up to juniors and seniors who have been members of the organization for years and may be holding executive positions. Do you say something?

I can honestly look at myself at that time in my life and acknowledge that I very well could have been the quiet one in the corner that didn't want to make any waves. I could have been fuming inside, but the thought of speaking out like that would have terrified me. That gradually changed and was not the case anymore by the time I hit my senior year

However, I also never had to face such a situation, so I can't really say what I would or wouldn't do. But I won't judge anyone for staying quiet.
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