BREAKING: Residential Fraternities Must Become Co-Ed

WesFrat

In an email sent to the Wesleyan community this morning, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Joshua Boger ’73 and President Michael Roth ’78 informed the campus of the Board’s decision that all residential greek organizations must become fully co-educational in not just housing but within the greek organizations themselves.

The Board of Trustees convened in their retreat this past weekend, with more than half of the schedule dedicated to the issue of greek life on campus as well as the future of residential fraternities. This comes on the heel of the administration’s decision to declare Beta’s house off-limits to all students just a few weeks ago, in light of the discussions last semester within and outside of meetings in the Wesleyan Student Assembly over the issue of coeducation and residential fraternities.

Update (9/22/14 5:00PM): We asked DKE president Terence Durkin ’16 if the coeducation decision would affect their national membership and how they might implement coeducation. His response:

It is my understanding that our National Charter does not allow co-education, so this unilateral decision by the administration is problematic for us.  It seems to do away with freedom of association for a specific, carefully chosen segment of the so-called Wesleyan “community”.  The University is telling us who our friends are going to be, and who we must choose as our leaders.  This is just not right.  This is just not Wesleyan. We are exploring all options with our Alumni and undergraduates, and we will have more to say in the near future.

Dean Mike Whaley similarly reiterated that the national charter of DKE (and Beta) does not recognize coeducation, while Psi U’s does. He also pointed out that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar conflict with their national charter when they decided to co-educate in 1972. His response below:

I’ve not yet had a chance to work with any of the organizations yet given that the announcement was just made today.  As President Roth’s announcement indicates, “If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization.” We’ve invited each of the all-male fraternities to develop their own plans for realizing this goal, and I will be working with them as they develop and implement their plans to make sure they are likely to reach our objectives.

Psi U, whose national permits coeducation, has asked to meet with me later this week to begin discussions and planning.

You probably already know that Psi Upsilon’s national permits coeducation, while Beta’s and DKE’s do not.  My understanding is that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar challenge with their national when they co-educated many years ago – how they overcame that obstacle could be instructive for the organizations.

Update (9/22/14 3:00PM): This story has been getting picked up by news organizations nationally, first by Business Insider that got a comment from Psi U’s national organization, “Psi Upsilon executive director Tom Fox said, ‘Psi Upsilon is historically a men’s fraternity which allows our chapters to admit women. It will be up to the Xi undergraduate chapter how they would like to proceed and we will support them in their decision.'” They also got a statement from Beta stating, “The Fraternity is working to better understand the specifics of Wesleyan University’s decision to force its fraternities with chapter houses to become co-educational. As that analysis continues, the leadership of Beta Theta Pi seeks to strongly underscore its belief that there is a purposeful place on college campuses for young men to come together and forge the bonds of fraternal brotherhood as they develop academically and prepare for a lifetime of civic duty.”

This has also appeared on Jezebel, the Wall Street Journal, the Hartford Courant, Bloomberg, and Newsweek.

Notably, the Associated Press‘ coverage which is being picked up and syndicated by various news outlets across the country, writes in error that “Wesleyan University in Connecticut is ordering its fraternities and sororities to become coeducational within the next three years,” as this policy affects only residential fraternities, not fraternities in general or sororities on campus.

Update (9/22/14 11:12AM): Wesleying’s Gabe reached out to Kate Carlisle, Manager of Media Relations & Public Relations in University Communications, for comment. She informed us that “this has actually been under discussion for a long time,” and that “what was driving this was really the desire to get closer to Wesleyan’s tradition of progressive leadership… [because] the three residential fraternities—now two, effectively—were the only, not only residential spaces, but social spaces that were not co-educational.”

The University decided to move this direction now, and not anytime before because they were soliciting as much input last they could, as Carlisle puts it, “when the University felt like it had gotten a ton of information it was able to move forward with this decision at this time.”

The three-year timeline for this transition came about because “Student Affairs seemed to feel that three years would give enough time given the turnover in students and people graduating and moving on—three years seemed like a reasonable timeframe to require this in.” Carlisle pointed out that the substance and plan for this transition “are things that Student Affairs is going to be working on directly with the leadership of the fraternities… That’s not something that the University is mandating at this point—something is going to have to be worked out on the ground.”

On the issue of Beta Theta Pi, she was sparse in her response but commented, “If Beta reorganizes on campus, then they will be subject to this as well and the process will go forward like it will with DKE and Psi U… This really depends on their reorganization, if it happens.”

In terms of concerns of pushback from members of the community, Carlisle notes, “I would not characterize the administration as worried about pushback. There’s a great tradition of incredible fierce loyalty among fraternity brothers at Wesleyan, so it would not be surprising if there were some pushback, but so far, so good.”

When we reached out to President Roth and his office for comment, we were quickly referred over to Carlisle.

We will continue to update this post as we receive comment from other parties involved.

Update (9/22/14 10:12AM): Some reactions from students and alumni on social media:

 

 

 

 

The full email is reproduced below.

To the Wesleyan community:

As you may know, we have been considering the future role of Greek life at Wesleyan, and over the summer a great many Wesleyan alumni, students and faculty offered their views. Some have urged that we preserve the status quo; others have argued for the elimination of all exclusive social societies. The trustees and administration recognize that residential fraternities have contributed greatly to Wesleyan over a long period of time, but we also believe they must change to continue to benefit their members and the larger campus community. With equity and inclusion in mind, we have decided that residential fraternities must become fully co-educational over the next three years. If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization.

This change is something that Wesleyan and the fraternities have been contemplating for many years, and now the time has come. The University looks forward to receiving plans from the residential fraternities to co-educate, after which it will work closely with them to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Our residential Greek organizations inspire loyalty, community and independence. That’s why all our students should be eligible to join them. Although this change does not affect nonresidential organizations, we are hopeful that groups across the University will continue to work together to create a more inclusive, equitable and safer campus. We look forward to working with all campus constituencies to improve the residential experience of Wesleyan students now and for generations to come.

Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09
Chair, Board of Trustees

Michael S. Roth ’78
President

Updates forthcoming.

For more reading:

Settlement in Federal Lawsuit Against Beta and Wesleyan (9/10/13)
Lawsuit Filed Against Psi U (3/12/14)
Letter to the Campus Community: A Call to Action (4/16/14)
What’s Going on with Fraternities, Sexual Assault, and the WSA? (4/27/14)
WSA Survey Results on Frats and Sexual Assault Released (4/27/14)
Student Hospitalized After Falling from Beta Window (9/7/14)

Additional reporting by Gabe and Samira.

  • CAPnMASS

    Right to Associate, another constitutional idea under attack!

    • Anon,15

      Not if said association fosters ideas of heteronormativity, elitism, and patriarchy. Same with sororities. It is about that that the Greek organization be controlled because let’s be honest they do not know how to control themselves. It took several tragedies for these measures to be passed. If anything this is a positive move forward. Making the Greek Organizations co-ed would force students from all backgrounds to interact with each other, and at the very least, learn about the different lifestyles of other people who may not dwell in upper strata of U.S. society and who do not share the same ideas about gender and gender identification. Even thou Roth should have done this in the past, and thereby prevented incidents like the ones that led these decisions to be made, we should still be conscious that Wesleyan has other problems that still need to be addressed. We are still a need aware institution, we still have low income students who lack the institutional and financial support to continue their studies, we still have our janitorial staff who is being overworked by their subcontracting company. Hopefully now that we can put this issue to rest we can focus on these issues as well as on reparative justice for the survivors of sexual assault on campus.

  • Jon Wiley

    If we ban fraternities then we have to ban sororities as well. Equality, people.

  • Concerned Alum

    It’s about “equity and inclusion” Roth/Boger want the “equity” in your house and then maybe they’ll “include” you.

  • The Lord Protector

    To Members of the Commonwealth of Wesleyan,

    As much as I despise the previous actions taken by President Roth and his illegitimate Cabinet, actions which are unconstitutional because they did not pass through the true legislative body of the Commonwealth of Wesleyan (The Wesleyan Parliament), Delta Mu Tau supports this decision and will not stop until all Greek Organizations are abolished from campus. These institutions are a burden from the past since they promote classicism, elitism, hetero normality, and most patriarchal forms of social organizing. Although President Roth is himself very much part of that same circle, it does not mean that we cannot agree on the same issues. Freshman are in deed vulnerable targets to these organizations and in some cases students are peer pressured to conform to these organizations, this is a despicable act. Thus as the representative of Delta Mu Tau, I hereby provide full support behind this decision. It is time to take back our campus and restore it to its former weird self and this includes getting rid of the Greek organization. However, in order to make this transition as feasible as possible, we hereby underline some steps. After this decision, the next step is to make all Greek Organization co-ed and for them to accept a large quota of female identifying students of color to live within their houses and to consult them before doing any house activities. The next step after that is to demolish the Greek Organizations and make each house they reside into either a residential building open to all students or a learning facility. Personally, Delta Mu Tau would like to have the DKE house as its center of activities, it would make the job of renaming the house easier since we would simply have to remove the letters Kappa and Epsilon and replace them with Mu and Tau. However, we understand that this change would not make us any better than the Greek Organizations, and it would also defeat the purpose on keeping our movement underground, thus we hereby declare that we will not take a house once the final process of De-Greeksation is complete. Now as far as the matter of siding with President Roth on this issue. Delta Mu Tau does not support President Roth on his other decisions which include, a few to refresh your memories, making the university need aware and under-funding the AFAM and Anthropology departments in the past, even thou those these departments have contributed to the diversity of ideas at Wesleyan as well as support for low income students and students of color. Those of you who support this decision, I encourage you to not be led astray, one possible good decision that this administration makes does not erase the fact that Wesleyan is still an elitist institution that has become more conservative, and inaccessible, over the years. So continue to rise up and challenge the administration in any way that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

    Sincerely,

    The Lord Protector
    Founder of Delta Mu Tau and Sponsor of the Wesleyan Parliament

  • Jason Taylor

    If the goal is to limit sexual assault/rape, then this move by Wesleyan will make things WORSE, not better.

    You tell me, if there are drunk men and drunk women living in the same house, it is more or less likley that a sexual assault will occur, compared to teh drunk men and drunk women living in different houses?

    Trust me, sexual assault cases will go up once these frats go co-ed.

    • not the case

      Most of our peer colleges have done the same thing…about 20 years ago and the rates have not gone up. Amherst, Middlebury, etc. all turned frats into co-ed social houses. It’s mostly a non-issue now and will be the same in Wesleyan in three years when nobody remembers what it was like before.

    • what about dorms?

      Uhh, except the dorms have been co-ed for years (I’d assume since the 60s, but I’m not sure on that). Women and men have been living in the same building at Wesleyan for years without those issues (or at least, not as systematically as at the frats)

    • jarsilver

      I can’t tell if you’re trolling or if you just didn’t think this comment through at all? Every other housing option on campus is gender integrated.

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  • wesalum03

    If only this fight could be solved by Beta throwing a rager featuring George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. Someone please make this happen.

    “We’re not gonna protest!”

  • Jason Rantz

    Do sororities have to include men?

    • No

      This only applies to residential greek life, and there are no residential sororities – so no

      • Jason Rantz

        But the article says frats have to allow women to join them… so men can’t join a sorority?

        • No

          Read the letter from Roth and the trustees. It says “residential fraternities must become fully co-educational.” Non-residential fraternities, such as AEPi and Chi Psi, will not have to allow women to join. The decision applies only to residential organizations.

          • Jason Taylor

            Yes but if a sorority ever tries to organize as a residential unit on campus, then they too would be forced to admit men.

            The key word here is “residential.” There are no “residential” sororities at Wesleyan. But that could change.

          • nope.

            Sororities have tried to get a house, but the university denied the requests. There will never be an expansion of greek life here.

  • Cardinal03

    Wake up people, this is not about inclusion, this is about power, plain and simple. The administration is hiding behind the banner of equality to push forward a broader plan for control over student life and social engagements on campus. Frankly it’s insulting. If the administration really cared about gender equality, they would require all fraternities and sororities, residential or not, to become co-ed.

  • commonsense

    it’s not fair that men should have exclusive access to certain residences on campus. boarders don’t affect who has control over the house.

  • truthseeker

    Look to the right, look to the left. Who will be next?

  • kier

    Relevant article about this issue from the Argus:

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2014/09/18/beta-closing/

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  • let’s think

    Here’s a thought exercise for you all: If the Wesleyan student body had been co-ed since 1831, do you think the establishment of exclusionary all-male organizations would have been tolerated? Do you think these organizations would have been allowed to build mansions in the middle of campus in which only their male members could live?

    Let’s face it, people: The college fraternity was not conceived as a “space for men.” It was conceived as a means of enhancing the social life at institutions of higher learning at a time when these institutions happened to be exclusively male. If Psi U, DKE, and Beta—three fraternities with beautiful houses right in the middle of campus, arguably three of the most prime social spaces at Wes—are to most greatly enhance the social life of the Wesleyan of today, it seems hard to make a case for their gender-segregation even without the documented high prevalence of sexual assault in these places.

  • Rutherford B Hayes

    At Wesleyan I learned to judge people by their character and actions, rather than stereotypes and the actions of others. Its a shame the Wesleyan community is now advocating selective judgement against people who are engaged in social and extracurricular activities and proud to call themselves members of the Wes community. No one in these houses support violence or assault towards women, seems ignorant to insinuate that. Also DKE was co-ed when I attended Wes, so nothing new here except no matter how liberal they appear, haters gon hate.

  • Todd Keats ’11

    As a former President of DKE, I have mixed feelings about this decision. On the one hand, I am supportive of any institutional changes that will decrease sexual assault and violence on campus. We as a community need to do everything in our power to improve the criminal justice response to rape, de-emphasize internal judicial boards, put in place bystander intervention and risk reduction programs, and ensure comprehensive care for victims, as outlined in RAINN’s recent letter to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. https://rainn.org/images/03-2014/WH-Task-Force-RAINN-Recommendations.pdf

    However, the administration has not explained how co-education will combat sexual violence and assault on campus. In my opinion, the administration’s decision to co-educate is a continuance of the counterproductive trend of blaming ‘rape-culture’. In RAINN’s letter they said, “This trend has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.” Co-education may seem like a step in the right direction to many, but it does nothing to address the small population that actually commits rape (According to research by Dr. David Lisak, roughly 3% of college men commit more than 90% of rapes).

    Unfortunately for DKE, Psi U, and Beta, this may mean the end. Sadly, I’m afraid this is more of a power-play than a real attempt to making our campus safer. Indeed, through education like Safe and Sober and One in Four, awareness, or honor Code pledges to report and prevent sexual assault, the University could use fraternities as a tool to stop this crisis. Unfortunately, the University, here, points a finger without making constructive policy to create much-needed change.

    • GenderDescrimination

      I think you and a lot of people in the fraternities, since they did not partake as openly in the dialogue on this issue, mostly due to people demonizing them, do not realize that this issue is about gender discrimination and not a solution to sexual assault. No one is arguing that coeducating the fraternities on campus will make them places where rape doesn’t happen, there have been rapes at other coed societies at wes in the past. If you believe that this is the reason for coeducation then of course you will feel defensive and angry, because it doesn’t make sense.

      The reason for coeducation is an end to gender based discrimination on campus. Who should only men have access to the three nicest residential and social spaces on campus? It wasn’t too long ago when this same discussion was happening over the issue of letting people of all races into fraternities, who excluded others for the color of their skin, this issue is no different. Women and men should be treated equally and given equal opportunities on our campus. period. And yes I believe that Rho Ep and all other non-residential greek organizations should be coeducating as well. It is time to end segregation and discrimination based on gender.

      • Phillip Ross

        Then why not both protect organizational autonomy and end gender discrimination and allow greek societies to obtain housing? When Rho Ep formed it was made clear that this will never be allowed to happen…why?

        • TO

          It’s not about having greek housing for women on campus. This is about not having any gender discriminatory spaces on campus.

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  • Phillip Ross

    The biggest problem with all of this is that the facts of these fraternity’s cases distract from the more essential action happening here: the administration is consolidating power over student life slowly and progressively, in order to try and control all public-facing press in the future. It’s a cold-blooded power play that is well-placed to succeed because it presents itself as being done to end gender violence and social exclusion. It was no doubt aided by the student organizations’ own failures to remedy themselves. But it is not an attack on any one organization or organizational type – it’s a move against students and autonomy. Pull back from the immediate facts of this case and look at the roots.

    In Kate Carlisle’s response to Wesleying, she wrote “[because] the three residential fraternities—now two, effectively—were the only, not only residential spaces, but social spaces that were not co-educational.” What she’s saying is that the administration and Board of Trustees could get away with this because the affected groups were distinct minorities. She’s also not concerned about “pushback,” which was once known on campus as healthy debate.

    • wesleyaner

      There could definitely be a case in your first point, except that the admin has always had this power over student life, and the student autonomy you speak of did not work to prevent the bad press Wesleyan’s gotten in past years for the lack of self-control on frat row. In the end, the admin does need to make a decision for frats if they cannot reach a compromise with the student body, as it’s obvious from their perspective that a strong administrative response was required in the face of yet another incident relating to frats. So, yes, it definitely is a power play, but it’s also due to the frats’ failure to produce a strong argument in favor of keeping frats traditional and also in the spirit of progressivism (and safety) at Wesleyan.

      • Phillip Ross

        No longer being a part of the undergraduate student body or student government, I can’t speak to the case put forward outside of what I’ve read here or on social media. But I’d like to emphasize that the fraternities have obviously failed to take enough action to stem the tide of popular opinion and to prevent harm from coming to guests, and that is an unquestionable shame. The right to autonomy, both physical and organizational, is fundamental. I believe there are other solutions to this…to that end, I’m reposting something I wrote when I first read the administration’s e-mail this afternoon.
        —————————————————————————-
        The inherent wrongness of having inequitable living spaces on campus for different genders does not necessitate student-only concessions such as forced co-education of all residential fraternities. There are different approaches that could work:

        1. Co-educate the building, instead of the organization
        ………but this leaves some residents secondary in social and residential terms. Untenable.

        2. Purchase additional Middletown property to add as female-gendered (or all-gendered, or trans-specific, etc) living space, or grant certain university properties that once served as fraternity houses back for this purpose.

        ———-

        Numerous issues come up with this decision, least of which is how non-residential fraternities will be made to comply in the future, should they seek residential status. Will their existential purposes change when they establish a permanent gathering place? If not, why should their right to exist autonomously?

        Organizational autonomy does not exist at Michael Roth’s Wesleyan.

        If the university can forbid students from living in certain locations off-campus (as they did with Beta, deserved or not), and then restrict on-campus housing rights to those organizations that comply with changeable prerogatives, what stops the administration from being able to enter into the self-governance of any student organization? They can withdraw _______ rights from _________ organization until they comply with __________ rule. The precedent is too damning, particularly when in Boger and Roth’s email they claim foresight, writing “that Wesleyan and the fraternities have been contemplating [this] for many years”.

        This is not a move to aide discriminated parties – not by an administration that only months ago took on trans activists – and activism that is not on its terms as a whole (remember when, referring to the late, doomed Tour de Franzia, Roth called for students to be active for the causes they used to advocate for in his day) – this is a calculated move by a President afraid of losing power, positive publicity, and revenue, to consolidate administrative strength, This is not our Wesleyan – it’s his, damn it, and it won’t stop being that way until we stop being swayed by the strength of his authority.

        • Wes16

          Phillip, I can see your perspective, but it seems you have been off campus for too long to see these issues in the light that the administration currently sees them. The “healthy debate” you refer to has been going on for quite some time before this decision. Last year, the WSA, the organization responsible for acting on behalf of the student body, voted in favor of coeducating the residential frats by Fall 2014. This new decision by the administration not only falls in line with the decision the WSA came to, it is even more lenient towards the frats by giving them three years to coeducate instead of less than one. While it is always prudent to be wary of student rights, in this case Roth and the board acted strictly within students’ best interests and the interests of keeping Wesleyan the progressive school that it is so often purported to be.

          • truthseeker

            The myth continues. Does anyone recall that The WSA vote was held on Easter Sunday with many members not present? The vote full WSA took later was not for co-education.

          • realtruth

            Yet they had the opportunity to rescind the vote on Resolution B with a full WSA–there wasn’t a majority for that.

          • clarification

            No they didn’t. There was a very controversial powerplay dynamic towards the end of the WSA and the compromise by the opposition of resolution B was to not rescind the controversial vote on coeducation that barely passed (the motion for that vote never happened), and to instead pass resolution d “reform and regulate” which many viewed as an alternative to co-education, but which also could have been a supplement to resolution b. That was a tactical decision that in retrospect might have been foolish, as resolution D passed overwhelmingly (only one no vote). Point being, no one should really think of a WSA vote with exactly quorum, meaning had one person left they couldn’t vote, is a legitimate mandate.

          • Phillip Ross

            Much agreed.

            Here are the minutes from those meetings:

            ……

            There are none. http://wsa.wesleyan.edu/about/documents/
            The only reference around the time of the vote is a line in the Executive Committee’s Report that it will be the major topic of discussion. WSA, wherever those minutes are, can they please be released in light of this major move?

            Also, would it not be inherently more difficult to encourage a WSA member to rescind a vote than it would be to get them to vote for something initially?

          • Concerned Alum

            I tried finding the minutes on the website, but there are no minutes past 4/6/14. Were they deleted? Please let me know where I can find them. Thanks.

          • Phillip Ross

            Wes16, it seems you haven’t been around long enough, unfortunately. That debate on this topic has been ongoing is no doubt true – but that there would ever be more than one real outcome is a joke.

            The fallout from the Bennet presidency, combined with the ’08 mortgage crisis, left us with an incredibly steep drop in revenue – as in the University’s assets had been growing steadily for 5 years, and then dropped $70 million in 2008…and $190 million more the next, to a millennium-low $572 million. Alumni Giving also dropped by more than 10% between 2007 and 2009. The impressive climb back since then has been credited to Roth’s administration and plans like Wesleyan 2020 and “This is Why”, but could arguably be just as much due to the general financial health of the nation.

            What I’m saying is this – the scourge of gender violence and inequity on campus, and the truth that the fraternities certainly have had enough bad press on and off campus to merit changes, are true. They are also irrelevant to this.

            This move means there is now a precedent set for any organization that threatens the administration. It makes this action, and the administration behind it, an active threat to student liberties. It’s the reason Wesleyan was put on a list of schools threatening Academic freedom a couple of years back (I’m looking for the definitive information, but this did happen). It’s the reason it took a nationally-run cartoon by Doonesbury to intervene and let students have Zonker Harris day. This administration doesn’t respect students; it respects positive PR and money.

  • logically disgusted

    This is an attack against all-male organizations plain and simple. The hypocracy of these activists supporting gender equality, while being hell-bent on taking away the right of men to have organizations dedicated just to them. Nobody is trying to ban womanist house? If you wanted real equality, then men as well as women would both have the right to congregate as they saw fit.

    • disgusted by lack of logic

      men can join womanist house. these men can still congregate but cannot exclude.

      • are you joking?

        Oh because that’d totally be a safe space for them? Have you not even considered the fact that it could be valuable for men to be able to congregate together on their own. Not everything is all about reinforcing the patriarchy. When’s the last time a man lived in womanist house?

        • wut

          I dont understand how a man living in womanist house is presumptively unsafe. Im not trying to badger you, I’m sincerely wondering how/why you think that.

          • wahwahwah

            #MENSRIGHTS lol

        • two men lived in womanist house last year and at least one lives in womanist house this year…get your facts straight

          • Correction

            Appreciate the sentiment but actually 3 of the 9 people living in womanist house identified as men last year.

      • Justaskin

        Will the Womanist House accept the same membership and leadership quota system now imposed on all male fraternities?

  • Samira

    Just going to comment here: If your comment personally attacks another student or alum we’re going to delete it (part of Wesleying’s policy) so please save us the time by not doing that.

    • Role Model

      Apologies if comment was offensive. Really did try to non-judgementally share information about a featured tweeter you published.

      I think the Wesleyan/Wesleying community has a right to facts.

      • lol

        Bullshit, you were talking trash and didn’t get away with it.

        • asdf

          lol shut up melody

  • bros will be bros

    ok what female would want to join dke or psi u…………….

    • Clara

      me!

  • Wes student’s parent

    Progressive? Only about 34 years after Amherst did the same…

    • ugh

      Go away Amherst, we still beat you.

  • Unimpressed

    While including women in frats is a step in the right direction, it does not address the existing culture that has allowed sexual assault and violence in these frats to begin with. There needs to be a mandate to educate the members of these frats and change their behavior before expecting women to join the frat and fix it themselves.

    • Jdjdkakb

      Who is there to educate? Fraternities will no longer exist at Wesleyan.

  • Proud Alum
  • Just Awful

    lol melody is just awful

    • Ayala Liel

      Wesleyan open-mindedness at its finest.

      • Just Awful

        Ayala, your attempts at petitioning a “reform” for Greek life was founded on the necessity for sorority houses on campus, correct?

        Your argument was unfounded and preposterous; Sexual violence occurs just as much–or more–in colleges with sorority houses indeed, those colleges probably have stronger Greek life on their campuses.. is that what we want?).

        Sorority houses may seem like a legally convenient way to provide equity, but it does not address the concern of inclusion. Single-gendered organizations, fraternities, sororities, or otherwise, are exclusionary by nature on their foundational premise on gender.

        So don’t harp on me for my lack of open-minded-ness when yours is just as blatant. Melody is simply being hateful and dismissive when she tags this painstakingly difficult decision with “PRstunt” and “anti-progressive”. That is why she is lol just awful.

        • Ayala Liel

          I’m fairly certain that my only mention of sororities was taken completely out of context in an article written by a rather biased alum who works for Newsweek. So no, my attempts were absolutely not founded on the necessity for sororities. Incorrect.

          That being said, I’m not going to argue with someone who doesn’t even have the guts to use their name. Sorry, “Just Awful.”

        • Ayala Liel

          And Melody has likely done more to make Wesleyan a better campus than you ever will by sitting on your computer and anonymously calling others awful.

          • Melody, Please

            I’ve been to several events where Melody has displayed abhorrent behavior. Including one sporting event where she loudly berated the opposing team, calling the female athletes c-words while seated behind their bench.

            I just hope she’s learned some more about gender equality recently. It is refreshing when someone practices what they preach.

            Please choose your role models wisely.

  • Danny b.

    The board of trustees should be commended for responding to student activism and the epidemic of sexual assault and violence across the country. This is a small victory: it will not by itself make Wesleyan the place it needs to become. However, it will go a long way towards creating a more equitable balance of power on campus and will help ensure that a greater number of spaces on campus are safe for people of all genders

    • Can we at least be honest?

      This was a victory for an organized political movement that wanted to ban a particular element of the “privileged” Wesleyan party culture that nearly none of the “activists” actively involved themselves in. This was not a victory, small or large, in the actual fight against the epidemic of sexual assault. Do not conflate the two just because it supports your long-winded and banal self-congratulatory rhetoric.

      • Shocked and Appalled!

        So, the pro-Greek coeducation activists—and all of their supporters on campus and off—may have claimed that they wanted to prevent sexual assault but really just wanted to ruin our parties?! How dastardly!

    • Angry Alumn

      What exactly in your pompous opinion is the place that Wesleyan needs to become? How many traditions will be destroyed before it meets your narrow criteria, and will you ever be happy with the result? Will it even be recognizable to alums anymore?

      • Danny b.

        In my opinion, Wesleyan needs to become a place that does
        not sanction segregation by gender. Wesleyan needs to stop being a place where
        dozens of students experience violence at the hands of their peers every year and
        then are denied justice and redress by the very administration charged with
        educating them and protecting their safety. This change is a small step in the
        direction of reconstituting Wesleyan into a place that is safe for all people, that does not sanction the creation of spaces that reinforce and preserve male domination. I
        am genuinely sorry that an institution and set of traditions that is meaningful
        to you will be changing in the coming years. However, when I weigh the prospect
        of continuing that tradition against the damage that it has done to the bodies,
        minds and souls of so many of my peers and fellow human beings, the path ahead
        is clear to me. Tradition must yield to justice, and this reform is the first step in that process.

      • angrier alumn

        yeah! god forbid wesleyan even attempt to make progress in addressing sexual assault; that wouldn’t be the wesleyan I know and love