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More Sororities? Sylvia, Justify Yourself

Spears1.gifThe drumbeat for the administration to allow additional, local (alcohol-serving) sororities appears to be ramping up (here, here, and here). Proponents point to the need for social venues under female control that can compete with fraternities, and also to the overwhelming demand by women to join Greek organizations, as evidenced by the current size of some sororities (over 150 sisters and counting).

The administration’s effort to create popular non-Greek social spaces has been around for many years. But it does not take a marketing executive to know that spaces that are not owned and controlled by students will never become a real part of campus social life — despite the enthusiasms of College bureaucrats who think that they know what students (should) want. The Fuel Nightclub and other past failures are proof of that assertion. President Kim’s recent trial balloon to turn the main corridor of Baker (where your humble servant did research in the card catalogue many a moon ago) into a café is a non-starter (let’s avoid mentioning Kim’s cringe-inducing phrase about creating a space where “ideas can go to have sex.” How edgy! How downright ugly!). Do we want Baker to look like the front area of Collis? This is President Kim’s silliest idea since his air dab initiative a ways back.

If people lament the monopoly that the frats have on alcohol-propelled fun (and the darker sides of that aspect of campus life), well, the only way to break a monopoly is to allow competitors.

Why won’t the College allow more local sororities? What are our administrators’ reasons for the current verbot? Darned if I can find out.

Money is not the problem. If you open the door and allow students to fundraise with the hope of actual success, you will find that resourcefulness leads to resources. And as for the need for solid organizational skills, a way for a new sorority to hit the ground running is for one of the present mega-sororities to divide into two groups. Finally, Martin Redman and Tom Crady’s idea to create a Sorority Row on North Park Street is a good one (“A” marks the spot below). The College could easily move the grad students currently living in the green, shingled buildings somewhere else, and turn these well designed dwellings into new Greek organizations.

Dean Spears, as Dean of the College, why don’t you explain in real detail why only national sororities are presently allowed to apply for certification? Or, more interestingly, please formulate a set of specific conditions that new local sororities need to meet in order to be certified. Let’s get moving on this. The idea has been around for years, with no actual progress being made one way or another.


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Note: Dean Spears has announced an open meeting for students regarding excessive alcohol use and sexual assault this evening at 6:00pm in 041 Haldeman. Dartblog has learned that she regrets not being able to find a less convenient time.

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