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Editorial: Trinity College co-ed Greek life decision an empty solution at best

By Editorial Board
On December 2, 2012

  • The Grammy award winning Takács Quartet performing at the Jorgensen Theater on Thursday night, playing the program of Haydn, Bartók and Schubert with only string instruments. Lilian Durey

Trinity College in Connecticut, in an effort to fix the school's social and academic image, has recently decided to make a new rule that will force all Greek life on campus to go completely co-ed.
The move is part of a strategic plan to help balance the school's social life, which tends to have students running in cliques and has caused academic culture to become out of sync with non-academic life, according to those behind the change. Not being students at the school, we can only speculate as to whether or not this problem actually exists. However, assuming for the sake of argument that every reason for the change that the administration is giving is true, is completely changing the way sororities and fraternities work a solution?
The result of the change is that a lot of these sororities and fraternities are in danger of being eradicated completely. Although the administration is not using this as an excuse to get rid of Greek life, by forcing them to be co-ed many are no longer going to be recognized by their national charters that stipulate that fraternities are for men and sororities are for women.
The administration determined that low grades and high rates of drinking were synonymous with Greek life. They also were responsible for setting the social tone on campus. So, while they say that this isn't an attack on Greek life, the response seems to run contrary to what they say.
Students can apply to be a "society" which means that they will be recognized as a student group but not a nationally recognized sorority or fraternity. Therefore, the attack on Trinity college's Greek life is an empty gesture at best, at least in terms of fixing the social order on campus, the main reason that it's happening at all.
The whole question apparently resulted in the administration trying to determine where they wanted the university to be in 2023, which is their bicentennial. However, eliminating the normal way that Greek life works seems more like it is merely the illusion of fixing the problems on campus rather than an actual solution to them. Not to mention that it is an unnecessary sacrifice on the part of the school because of all of the obvious benefits that organized, nationally chartered Greek life brings to student's social life and campus life. Students who rely on the tradition and socialization that comes from sororities and fraternities can only hope that Trinity College will rethink this unnecessary foe solution to their problem.

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