The recent decision to require residential fraternities to admit women as full members, which is strenuously opposed by generations of supportive alumni, active volunteers, donors and committed trustees, is based on numerous false premises. Here’s the truth:
FACT: This action will kill frats at Wesleyan. This is a backdoor way to eliminate fraternities altogether. The national charters of Deke and Beta forbid co-education. If they lose their national affiliations and insurance coverage, they will have to close.
FACT: A fraternity is at least as safe as a dorm. According to the University’s own data, 13 of 15 reported sexual assaults in 2013 occurred in University-owned residential facilities.
FACT: Forcing the closure of fraternities will not end the problem of sexual assault. Amherst College, which banned fraternities nearly 30 years ago, is on the Education Department’s list of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for improper handling of sexual assault claims. Wesleyan is not.
FACT: The University will lose social space if the frats have to close. The fraternity houses and land are privately owned and will never become University property.
FACT: Fraternities lead the way on education. DKE voluntarily initiated two nationally acclaimed programs: The “One in Four” sexual assault training program by Dr. John Foubert and the Safe and Sober Campus Initiative program by Dr. Steven Taylor, Medical Director, NBA Player Assistance/Anti-Drug program. These programs were highly successful and very well received by the students who participated.
FACT: Fraternities support equal access for sororities. Wesleyan’s fraternities have offered assistance to and support for Rho Epsilon Pi and its establishment in its own residential space.
FACT: Fraternity members are active members of the community. Although they only represent a small minority of the student body, fraternity members are fully involved in university life as scholars, classmates and alumni. They make important contributions to University life during and after their school years.
FACT: Eliminating fraternities would diminish diversity on campus, deepening the University’s reputation as an anti-male institution and a center of political correctness run amok.