Letter to the Editor | IFC and ISC response to the Editorial Board piece on Greek Life

Expensive Editor,

As leaders throughout the FSL (Fraternity and Sorority Life) neighborhood we felt it necessary to answer the opinion piece authored by the Each day’s Editorial Board. To start with, we largely agree. The social alternatives together with events, philanthropic occasions, and non-alcoholic occasions hosted by FSL organizations ought to solely be a small a part of the alternatives accessible to Stanford college students. We concur that internet hosting any occasion is presently far too troublesome, and we look ahead to the modifications promised by the administration to streamline the method. We’d additionally wish to state unequivocally that the first purpose lots of our occasions are usually not as inclusive as we wish is straight pushed by the actions and insurance policies of the College, not our need to exclude our fellow college students.

The Greek system has performed an outsized function in our conversations concerning the challenges of social life on Stanford campus. Being generally over-represented as a hero, and infrequently unfairly portrayed because the villain. It’s to this final level that we wish to right among the misrepresentations often made and echoed by the Editorial Board.

The primary is range and exclusion. Our FSL neighborhood is observationally among the many most various within the nation. We have now been working with the administration to attempt to acquire information that we will publish to tell the neighborhood and potential new members. Each chapter will not be excellent, however all need to enhance. In help of financial range, Stanford has the Alternative Fund that allocates 16% of its assets to FLI college students who acknowledge the FSL neighborhood as an elevating platform for them, however whereas this useful resource is tremendously appreciated it’s dwarfed by the necessity of the various FSL members who don’t match the rich stereotypes. To incorporate these college students lots of our chapters have created alumni led funds to help the expertise. This coupled with dues properly beneath the nationwide common place Stanford’s FSL neighborhood amongst the nation’s most accessible.

It’s true we have now a selective course of for selecting new members. Nobody enjoys selective processes whether or not it’s selecting a College, becoming a member of a sports activities crew, matching to a medical residency, or discovering a job. It’s each about assets and assuring the standard of an expertise. There’s presently a bigger disconnect between the scholar demand for a housed FSL expertise and the flexibility to offer that have than has ever existed. Our housed organizations are bigger than they’ve ever been in Stanford’s historical past. For a lot of of them there are extra members residing outdoors of the home than in it. For the second yr in a row regardless of taking report sized lessons of recent members, there have been virtually as many individuals that we couldn’t take into the system as joined. This once more is a matter of assets and coverage that we don’t management. We’ll proceed to advocate for extra chapters and extra housing to broaden the expertise to the rising variety of college students who need it. 

In response to the considerations about security, we wish to state unequivocally that the Stanford neighborhood ought to try to create an setting the place non-consensual contact by no means happens, and the FSL neighborhood is aware of we might be a part of the answer. We’ve inbuilt coaching for our members, screens at our events, reporting hotlines, and codes of conduct for members and friends. With that stated, we really feel the Editorial Board misrepresented the info of their piece. Within the linked reference we couldn’t even discover numbers to help the 47% determine given within the preliminary piece, which has since been corrected after our piece was submitted for publication. Most individuals solely learn the unique article and by no means see the corrections, that are sometimes not issued for items concerning Greek Life. This feeds a vicious narrative within the Stanford neighborhood. If truth be told, we discovered that for the incidents cited, probably the most egregious assaults had been over 5 instances as prone to occur in a dorm and non-consensual touching was over 20% extra prone to occur in a dorm.

Lastly, we write to precise our need to be included in future conversations surrounding neighborhood enchancment. The Editorial Board didn’t contact FSL leaders to request remark earlier than authoring their piece and consequently misrepresented our neighborhood in damaging methods. We’ll by no means profess that we’re excellent, however it’s arduous for us to appropriately assess our shortcomings with out the chance to be included within the necessary discussions about them.

We embrace the suggestions on how FSL chapters can promote extra security and variety. We decide to enacting the suggestions of the Editorial Board. However we’d respectfully ask that our neighborhood, who signify greater than 1 out of each 5 undergraduates, not be blamed for all difficult points our neighborhood faces. Stanford social life thrives when it’s scholar led and gives alternatives as various as the scholars. We are able to and may accomplice to make our scholar expertise higher.

Sincerely,

Jude Reiferson ’24 (Interfraternity Council (IFC) President) and Olivia Partamian ’24 (Inter-Sorority Council (ISC) President) on behalf of the joint IFC and ISC councils


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