Greek life on college campuses has long been derided as a place where diversity cannot flourish and racism is the status quo. Vanderbilt’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Until then, we must recognize that Vanderbilt will not abolish Greek Life. Still, Vanderbilt remains indifferent. A Vanderbilt student was heard on a widely circulated Instagram video (The link no longer works as the user is now a private user), posted July 3, using the “n-word” twice; the student using the racial slur was not visible on the video. Yes, some of the student body here will engage in indirect racism. But at some campuses, the number of students quitting Greek life is striking. the video within a July 7 letter to the Vanderbilt community, posted on their Instagram page. Vanderbilt announces twice-a-week mandatory testing, protocols for spring semester. The home of Vanderbilt Greek Life on YouTube. Community reacts to Spring 2021 reading days on social media, university denies removing negative comments, VUMC shuts down Oxford Barber Shop after 60 years of operation, Meet the committee behind Spring 2021’s four extra reading days, Administration announces updates to COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocol for Spring 2021, Dr. Mark Denison speaks on COVID-19 treatment advancements, Barry, Bechtel, Bloom, Taylor and Vaughan to be inducted into VSC Hall of Fame, Administration announces four additional reading days throughout Spring 2021 semester, VSG push for optional pass/fail grading meets resistance from administration, Jon Meacham speaks about contributions to Biden’s acceptance speech with U.S. Or students from poorer backgrounds can't afford to participate in Greek life or spring break trips with their peers. “The racial slur was 100% the misconduct of the person who filmed her from across the pool.”. Phi beta sigma fraternity inc. The Vanderbilt Hustler • Copyright 2021 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNO • Log in, The Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on Greek Row. Eat the Rich: How an 18th Century Phrase has Made a Comeback, Reports: Vanderbilt football hires Inoke Breckterfield as defensive line coach, Swimming: Recapping Vanderbilt’s fall season. Anybody who knows me would understand that I would not involve myself in such behavior, which goes completely against my values. The university will conduct arrival testing Jan. 20 to 24 and hold a ‘quiet’ period from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3. Director of Greek Life Kristin Torrey declined to comment. or an attorney for comment on the topics noted above, do NOT tell them anything,” the email from the Advisory Board Chair states. In that letter, the NAACP called for the absolute abolition of Greek organizations within the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Council. In a Hustler editorial, 27 former brothers of Delta Tau Delta describe how attempts to radically reform the Greek system were met with harsh resistance from the Office of Greek Life. The Abolish Greek Life Movement has made a compelling case for the end of Greek Life, but Vanderbilt won’t abolish. According to activists like Ellie, to be in Greek life is to be complicit in racism, an accusation that some Greek leaders don’t readily deny. After receiving multiple reports regarding the incident, Dean of Students Mark Bandas said that the Title IX and Student Discrimination office have been notified and are actively investigating, per a. Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community for all. We recognize the pain and anguish this word causes for African American members of our community. Search "Vanderbilt racism" on Google and there are over 20 results from this very forum of people asking the same thing as you. PLEASE! Coach Jerry Stackhouse addressed the media Friday to provide updates on the health of his team and preview the Commodores’ upcoming tilt with Mississippi State on Saturday. Although the Abolish Vanderbilt IFC and Panhellenic movement has amassed close to 4,000 followers on Instagram and received nearly a dozen endorsements, it has yet to fulfill its promise of eliminating the Greek system at Vanderbilt. This is all to say, I don’t know how much abolishing Greek Life itself will do to solve the lowkey racism and highkey classism that exists at Vanderbilt because people will form these groups without the official title anyway (i.e Elections class on Nov. 10, Vanderbilt to restrict gatherings to 8 people in accordance with Nashville order, Debrief with Diermeier: Destination Vanderbilt, community in the face of COVID-19, football and more, Vanderbilt School of Nursing Dean to step down, What the tech? more often and in larger amounts to their alma mater than unaffiliated students, making abolishment a financial issue as well. Kappa Alpha Order (KA) fraternity — and Greek life in general — is experiencing a national reckoning with their centuries-long history of racism. Immanual John Milton (2022) is from Minneapolis, MN. Press Conference Notes: Stackhouse gives updates on injuries, previews Mississippi State. Students in the video have been identified as I hope the video helps Vanderbilt and Greek Life talk about these issues more constructively,” the statement reads. Their stories of substance abuse, sexual assault, racism, sexism and homophobia are a testament to the abuse of power that is ingrained in the Greek system. Greek Life alumni also. Instead, it will be up to the students to drive change on campus. Other students cited the same number in a recent presentation they created on reasons for abolishing Interfraternity Council fraternities and Panhellenic Greek life, NBC News reports. However, Vanderbilt is first and foremost an academic institution, so if you're interested in finding people similar to you outside of greek life, you'll find it. In other words, the movement lacks the popular support it needs to compel action. Thompson said that she hopes the Vanderbilt community will stop prioritizing social life over the emotional safety and well-being of its peers. “That video was atrocious, and I am upset that I am in it. Kappa Alpha Theta President Eliza Parker did not respond to request for comment. In a message to The Hustler, Thompson said that she felt obligated to post the video. In a post on the abolishvandyifcandpanhellenic Instagram page she wrote, “We quickly learned that our purpose was simply to exist, to prove that Panhellenic cared about diversity and inclusion.”. The video was taken March 2, over spring break in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “If the video had reached me, then it had reached other people and in [turn] harmed others,” Thompson said. In fact, the U.S. Constitution, students freedom of association, thereby protecting fraternities from most regulations and sweeping bans. Racism in United States college fraternities and sororities ("Greek life") has been linked to the experience of microaggressions, fewer opportunities to use the networking system built into Greek life… Vanderbilt football hires Casey Stangel as director of football operations, Report: Vanderbilt football hires Barton Simmons as ‘general manager,’ per 247 Sports, Report: Vanderbilt football hires Norval McKenzie as running backs coach. I do not at all. The other female Vanderbilt student from the video’s attorney gave the following statement. “This [behavior] exists in Greek life and whether you’re the one doing or saying it, we’re all responsible for allowing a space where people feel comfortable enough to engage in that behavior,” Thompson said. Why We Want To Abolish: IFCPH organizations were founded on white supremacy and stand to perpetuate racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and the gender binary. The prevention and rejection of racism, sexism, sexual assault and homophobia have been the focus of education and reform within Greek organizations at Vanderbilt for several years. Zip your lips on these topics!”. The word used by the student is one that has been employed for over a century to belittle and mock African Americans, and should never be uttered, period,” the email states. In that letter, the NAACP called for the absolute abolition of Greek organizations within the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Council. Vanderbilt is an unlikely place for an anti-Greek life movement. I’ve known about the negative (and mostly incorrect) stereotypes of partying, bad grades and even worse--hookups…but racism felt so far away from what I envisioned Greek Life to be. With this in mind, it has become increasingly clear that Vanderbilt’s administration will be unwilling to make changes on its own. The email also requested that sorority members cease all internal and external discussion of the situation. Delta Kappa Epsilon’s former president Joseph Strelitz declined to comment. While abolishing IFC/PH Greek Life may not completely fix the issues of classism, racism, sexism, etc. I think I read somewhere that the school administration itself is not very fond Instead, he reasserted Vanderbilt’s support for students’ freedom to participate in organizations of their choice. I attended mandatory events for Greek members under the umbrella of “Diversity and Inclusion” and presumed that it meant Vanderbilt, and more specifically Greek life at Vanderbilt, was a developed and accepting community. Yet to abolish Greek Life seems no more likely than it did before. Attempts to dissolve Greek Life from within have also been largely unsuccessful. I hope people notice that I am not near the person saying the abhorrent language nor acting in a way that suggests I agree with the use of those words. Even if you assume that every signature is from a current student, less than a fifth of Vanderbilt’s undergraduate student body has formally committed to its mission. Short of a hunger-strike or protest, like the one at Swarthmore College in 2019, it seems that students’ demands will continue to fall on deaf ears. Just this summer, Harvard, its sanctions on members of same-sex organizations after an unrelated Supreme Court, on federal civil rights law indicated that the university could lose a legal battle over the policy. the university that the administration would thoroughly investigate these incidents but stopped short of promising reform to Greek Life. Barton Simmons was previously the director of scouting for 247 Sports. Attempts to dissolve Greek Life from within have also been largely unsuccessful. We do not tolerate racism nor racist language and behavior. I've experienced a lot of microaggressions here at Vanderbilt, but it definitely isn't as bad as what most people think when they think "rural south". In an email addressed to students on July 7, Dean of Students Mark Bandas, reassured the university that the administration would thoroughly investigate these incidents but stopped short of promising reform to Greek Life. A Vanderbilt student was heard on a widely circulated Instagram video, posted July 3, using the “n-word” twice; the student using the racial slur was not visible on the video. This would pit the administration against thousands of current and former members if they choose to make drastic changes to the current system. NBC News has not independently confirmed the numbers of students who have left Greek life at Vanderbilt “Nearly 200 is the official number who have left their organizations, but the true number is much higher,” Emma Pinto, a Just this summer, Harvard reversed its sanctions on members of same-sex organizations after an unrelated Supreme Court ruling on federal civil rights law indicated that the university could lose a legal battle over the policy. “Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community for all. Even disaffiliation is unlikely to compel action. Vanderbilt’s Greek life has been historically popular —with nearly a third of students participating in the Greek system—but that popularity began to … Don’t allow this in your own comments. Mission and Vision The Office of Greek Life is a team of caring and committed advocates for a fraternity and sorority experience that upholds the values espoused by their organizations and Vanderbilt University. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long), Immanual John Milton, Editor in ChiefJuly 20, 2020. It is easy to find headlines of Greek chapters at other schools going viral for racist drinking chants or bid day Snapchats. In an email addressed to students on July 7, Dean of Students Mark Bandas. Many students shared their reasons for leaving their organizations on their instagram accounts or on at abolishvandyifcandpanhellenic an account an … "Racism on campus has been progressing and it is incredibly troubling. KA’s maintenance of Confederate General Robert E. Lee as their “spiritual founder,” in addition to their myriad problematic traditions and events, harms Black students on Emory’s campus and nationwide. Vanderbilt® and the Vanderbilt logos are registered trademarks of The Vanderbilt University. at Swarthmore College in 2019, it seems that students’ demands will continue to fall on deaf ears. I used to think that we weren’t southern enough to end up like so many cases that I had seen , I pointed my finger. that their membership numbers have “remained healthy” and are unlikely to disband any time soon. This has hardly had an impact on fraternities and sororities who claim that their membership numbers have “remained healthy” and are unlikely to disband any time soon. Even if you assume that every signature is from a current student, less than a fifth of Vanderbilt’s undergraduate student body has formally committed to its mission. “Do not even talk to your fellow Alpha Etas about this. Two months later, the university has made no progress. on Instagram, igniting widespread outrage amongst Vanderbilt students and fueling renewed calls for Vanderbilt’s administration to abolish Greek Life on campus. “In the unlikely event you are contacted by the media (by that I mean The Tennessean, The Hustler, any other paper or student publication, any TV station, any radio station, any podcast, any blogger, etc.) The confidentiality is meant to protect the women who allegedly committed behavior unbecoming to a Theta as well as protect all members of the Chapter from outside influences. I am in a completely different conversation across the pool, unaware of what is being said behind the camera. Other colleges that have had little success regulating Greek Life, with unregulated, off-campus organizations, Although the Abolish Vanderbilt IFC and Panhellenic movement has, close to 4,000 followers on Instagram and, nearly a dozen endorsements, it has yet to fulfill its promise of eliminating the Greek system at Vanderbilt. Despite popular support for abolishing Greek Life, however, even this seems unlikely. © 2019 Vanderbilt University • Advertise • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNO • Log in, widely circulated Instagram video (The link no longer works as the user is now a private user). The video was taken March 2 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. You should meet at least one Still, it is clear the harmful culture that Greek Life perpetuates has no place on Vanderbilt’s campus. While some people (not myself) have complaints about greek life dominating the party scene, it's very rare for Greek life to impede on anyone's ability to make friends/have a tight friend group. Still, it is clear the harmful culture that Greek Life perpetuates has no place on Vanderbilt’s campus. Greek Life alumni also donate more often and in larger amounts to their alma mater than unaffiliated students, making abolishment a financial issue as well. Racism in Greek life The admin of the Instagram page @blackatamericanuniversity said they weren’t surprised by the amount of submissions that included Greek life organizations, and they have experienced racism through Greek life themselves. One of the students in the video, rising sophomore Julia Amato, sent The Hustler the following statement. To date, their official petition to the Vanderbilt administration has gathered just over 1,300 signatures. It was later posted to Instagram July 3 by a Vanderbilt rising senior. Eventually, they disaffiliated after “apathy and preference for the status quo destroyed [their] belief in a future where IFCPH could be a force for good.”, Even disaffiliation is unlikely to compel action. Eventually, they disaffiliated after “apathy and preference for the status quo destroyed [their] belief in a future where IFCPH could be a force for good.”. The university has little incentive to get rid of a system that is popular amongst students, donors and potential applicants. Financial and social incentives aside, Vanderbilt could also face legal challenges if it tries to regulate Greek Life in a meaningful way. In fact, the U.S. Constitution guarantees students freedom of association, thereby protecting fraternities from most regulations and sweeping bans. Inoke Breckterfield spent the last six seasons as Wisconsin's defensive line coach. This allows each woman in question to have the opportunity to appeal any decision that is made,” the July 8 email states. Director of Greek Life Kristin Torrey declined to comment. The women in the video, however, didn’t receive the email. 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