Four Dartmouth students debated in front of an audience the possibility of eliminating the Greek system from their campus on Monday, the Dartmouth reported.
While all participants agreed that the campus’s Greek system must undergo changes due to the dangers of binge drinking and sexual assault, the Dartmouth reported that they disagreed about whether the fault lay in the system as a whole or in individual members.
About half of Dartmouth undergraduates are members of a Greek organization, according to public policy professor Charles Wheelan GS ’93.
Dartmouth math professor Alex Barnett opened the debate, claiming that fraternities serve as a “training ground” for violence against women. Other speakers said that students gain valuable support networks with students and alumni through fraternities and sororities. Mark Andriola, a senior, argued that rush should change, hazing should end and measures should be taken to prevent sexual assault, but that the houses should remain.
In response to the panel discussion, William Peters argued in a Dartmouth opinion piece that exclusivity can be beneficial. Peters stated that exclusivity is a natural consequence of a system that separates students into houses, but the brotherhood that the Greek system offers should outweigh the exclusivity.