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Thursday, June 1, 2023


Fraternities recieve too much scrutiny

Battles and wars have often begun with a few mistakes and instances of miscommunication on both sides, and the battle between universities and fraternities is no exception. In the instances when fraternities might have gone too far, punishment has similarly been extreme, if not more so, by the university in question.

Yale University’s Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) has recently received a five-year ban from participating in campus activities, a ban that will last longer than the current members will be enrolled. This is after they chanted, “No means yes, yes means anal!” throughout the freshman women’s dorm.

Incidents like these from DKE and other fraternities have been blamed with creating a misogynistic, hostile sexual environment that promotes rape and sexual assault.

There is no question that this act was silly and immature, but despicable and filled with an anti-feminist agenda, no. When most people see these kinds of actions and understand their nature, they laugh, shrug, express annoyance and then move on. They were not shouting hate speech, or engaging in a venomous verbal assault toward the opposite gender. It was a simple chant with unintended consequences.

The chant is not acceptable, but neither is the punishment. This isn’t a free speech issue, but rather one of poor taste and bad judgment that has become a trend on university campuses across the country. Fraternities have been charged with being irritants, a detriment to a college education and have become increasingly unwelcome on university campuses. Little support comes their way due to their often-negative portrayal by the media.

The tales of lewdness, dominating machismo, and misogynistic actions are not always the case. There are some fraternities who consistently contribute to their universities and set a good example for new students and other fraternities to follow. Unfortunately, it appears these acts often go unnoticed and unappreciated. A mistake by a fraternity with a negative impact often ends up crucifying every other fraternity on the campus.

If fraternities are to be properly disciplined when their actions are deemed too offensive or unruly, then the punishment should not have the appearance of trying to destroy Greek life and culture. While it’s the university’s job to handle the incidents correctly, it’s the fraternity’s duty to find a balance between current rules and regulations and long established traditions.

Marcus Smith is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].

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