EDITORIAL: Greek Life, enough is enough
One-in-four women will be sexually assaulted during their time at a university. According to the National Institute of Justice, 25 percent of sexually assaulted women are members of a sorority.
In today’s edition, we presented a special investigation by Central Michigan Life into the dismissal of the Phi Sigma Phi fraternity from Central Michigan University. The magnitude of these allegations cited in reports by the university are shocking. What's even more shocking is almost no one was ever charged with a crime in these alleged incidents.
We interviewed a sorority woman who told us she was drugged at a PSP party. Her sisters, concerned that she had been drugged, took her home and looked after her. She was not taken to the hospital – they did not call the police.
Today, that woman still attends PSP parties. She goes because her sorority insists on partying with the chapter, even now after it has been kicked off campus. She watches over her friends in case one of them gets in "trouble."
Women join sororities to be involved on campus, to volunteer for philanthropies and to build life-long friendships with like-minded women who become their sisters.
Greek Life, and CMU in general, has normalized some of the worst parts of college party culture – Harassment, peer pressure, excusing sexual assault, binge-drinking. The “norm” at CMU should not be knowing that fraternities are under investigation for complaints about harming students and still attending events with them.
Enough is enough. If you believe a fellow student has been drugged at a party, call the police and take that person to a hospital. If you have been drugged or assaulted at a party, file a police report and take action against the person who has harmed you – you are not alone, you are supported in this community. No party, no friendships, not relationship with a Greek organization is worth risking your safety or the health and safety of your friends.
Sororities who are still having socials with PSP: Stop. Show some integrity. Make our campus a place known for safety, transparency and being there for your peers.
We want to clear up one thing immediately: We believe most fraternities and sororities embody the best of what Greek Life can offer students. Fellowship, networking, philanthropy and social events provide students with CMU memories they will treasure.
So when those organizations support unaffiliated fraternities who seem to go against everything they stand for, it's confusing. The stories and opinions shared in this edition are part of a crucial conversation we need to have at CMU. Many fraternity and sorority members are more concerned about hiding problems and protecting party culture than they are standing up for each other.
When an organization gets suspended, people in Greek Life like to say it’s only the few bad people in the community that make everyone look bad. In the past 24 months, four Greek organizations have been suspended. That's not just a few bad people, that is a systemic problem. We understand that you can’t control other people’s actions, but knowing there’s a problem, and looking the other way and supporting unaffiliated fraternities, makes you a part of the problem, too.
The only people who can stand up and address the obvious problems happening in Greek Life are the fraternity and sorority members themselves. Stand up to men who prey on your sisters. Stand up for each other. Stand against sexual assault.
Greeks, you have the power to make a major, impactful change. You’re a part of a larger community than most students. You’re responsible for the culture, and you have the power to change the climate of our community.
We, and the rest of CMU, will stand behind you.
Enough is enough. Change Greek Life for the better.