Unless it cleans up its act, SU IFC should get off campus
Sarah Lee | Senior Staff Photographer
Last night students gathered in front of the Pi Chapter House of Psi Upsilon Fraternity at Syracuse University to raise awareness of allegations of sexual assault levied at one of the brothers of the fraternity. The protest moved around, stopping at many other fraternities to protest the university’s culture that allows for women to be assaulted in the first place.
Unfortunately for SU and its Interfraternity Council, negative press attention prompted by misconduct among fraternities is nothing new. In 2018, a video leaked of members of the professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau using vile and insensitive language prompting The Washington Post to proclaim a “toxic Greek environment” on campus. The following year, there was widespread attention when the university suspended its chapter of Alpha Chi Rho after determining that members and guests of the fraternity were involved in shouting a racial slur at a Black woman. A Supreme Court judge has since annulled the suspension.
Traditionally, many fraternities have done their best to stay under the radar to continue their dicey behavior while avoiding the potential consequences, but in recent years the administration has come down much harder on the IFC due in part to negative press attention that fraternities have brought the university from instances of racism, hazing and COVID-19 safety violations.
Due to all the negative attention fraternities have brought to SU, many people are asking what fraternities are still doing here on campus. Fraternities answer this question by claiming to be dedicated to promoting leadership, brotherhood, service and academic excellence, among other principles. Psi Upsilon’s national website claims its organizational mission is to “aspire to moral, intellectual and social excellence in themselves as they seek to inspire these values in society.”
To many people, however, these “mission statements” and “values” are laughable. Many fraternities on campus are known for the harm they cause, not for the benefits they provide.
With both the university turning up the pressure and public opinion turning against them, fraternities either need to become the organizations they claim to be or get off campus.
Evan Butlow is a sophomore magazine, news and digital journalism major. His column appears biweekly. He can be reached at [email protected].
DISCLAIMER: Editorial editor Nathan Fenningdorf and asst. editorial editor Grace Myron are associated with Greek life on campus. They both recused themselves from editing this column in all means, and therefore have no influence over the content of this column.
Published on September 22, 2021 at 10:45 pm