Is the lack of sorority housing patriarchal? He said…

Vince Fasanello

Contributing Writer

With all of the discussion on “campus climate” and changes in the Greek system that have been going on over the past few months, I thought I would take the opportunity to give a guy’s perspective on the social scene in Greek life. Because the fraternities have on-campus houses and the sororities do not, this creates a social dynamic which places a lot of unsought pressure on the guys. Because we have the houses, we’re the only ones who have the parties. We pay for the parties, we put in a lot of preparation effort and, looking at this from a legal perspective and our standing with the University, we are ultimately responsible for the well-being of the people who attend. The girls roll in, drink our beer and then leave. We’re left with a demolished house bearing all of the costs. Look at our social dues–-while we pay roughly $150 a semester, the typical sorority pays about $10-15, solely for a date party here and there and formals. To my knowledge, $150 is relatively cheap compared to some of the other fraternities on campus. Another negative side effect is that I could see how the University would naturally associate fraternities, more so than sororities, as solely “partying” organizations.

I think a more ideal social scene would be one in which sororities could host some of the parties. I realize that “officially” this would be impossible because they do not have houses on campus. Downtown parties aren’t technically registered with the University  (as “registers” are) and hosted by the fraternity; rather, the residents of the house technically host them. Sororities could therefore easily host parties downtown (obviously not to the same extent as a register, but nevertheless a successful mixer at the least). Unfortunately, we all have set an irreversible precedent of women relying on men to host the parties. We are constantly in a position of having to prepare for parties and “please” sorority women so that they will want to come and attend more of our events in the future. This is a lot of pressure.

With the current situation, and with ongoing talks about “changing the campus climate for the better” and empowering women so that they don’t feel objectified by men, I feel it’s necessary to rethink the current social scene because it exacerbates these problems. With women only relying on fraternities to host social events, they are, in essence, being subjected to “follow the leader.” Instead, we should find a solution that enables both fraternities and sororities to equally share the burden. Dividing the costs and pressure will make for a better social scene for everyone and could solve some of the ongoing problems concerning Greek life.

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