Greek life needs change


Maya Kopczak, Opinions Writer

Greek life has a long history of racism, sexual assault, and even heavy monetary dues which isn’t fair to students who don’t have a couple thousand extra dollars to drop after just paying for a university.  

Many students of color feel alienated from Greek life. Sadly, racism and exclusion was built into some fraternities, and the fact that students must pay or donate money to participate already excludes social class more than it should.

Greek life didn’t begin to change their policies for anti-discrimination rules until the later 1940s. However, as early as the 1900s, there had been discrimination against Jewish and Black people by the Greek latter fraternities, according to the Washington Post.

There has been some attempt to “fix” the discrimination by introducing Black fraternities and sororities as well as other races/ethnicities; however, the reason that they were even created was to provide an alternative during a time when people of color were not accepted in Greek life.  

The fact that there had to be other fraternities and sororities created due to discrimination just goes to show how deep rooted the issue really is. People need to stop and think as to why people of color felt as if they had to create their own organizations. 

According to Vox, “Fraternities were founded on the principles of racial exclusion, many of which can still be seen today, in practices such as ‘Old South’ parades and students in blackface. In fact, senior surveys of the classes of 2009 and 2010 at Princeton University found that 77 percent of sorority members and 73 percent of fraternity members were white.”  

For example, in 2019, pictures from a UNC Chapel Hill 1979 yearbook resurfaced of a couple men doing blackface as well as pretending to lynch each other. These people are old enough to be your parents or grandparents. 

Not only is racism a huge issue within Greek life but so is sexual assault and just the  blatent disrespect for women. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Studies have found fraternity men are three times more likely to rape a woman than nonaffiliated classmates.” 

It’s unfair to these women who just want to be a part of something and can’t even enjoy it without fear of a man. 

Greek life is a rich people’s space. They get their money from donors who happen to be alumni. Not only that, but it also costs thousands of dollars to be in a fraternity. 

“According to Campus Explorer, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill estimates that average costs for new fraternity members are $1,631 per year, while the cost of membership at a Kansas University frat (including room and board) is $5,300,” according to Vox. 

Because of this, it’s harder for students who didn’t grow up with money to get to have this experience. Many people want to be a part of something big where they can meet new people and be involved in their school, but it’s hard to do it when it has such a dark past that continues to be brought up.