Females in frats


Teresa Randlett

A frat house at the University of Vermont.

Teresa Randlett, Assistant Entertainment Editor

Females in Frats?

Greek letter societies have been around as early as December 5th, 1776 when Phi Beta Kappa was created at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Ever since, hundreds of sororities and fraternities have come about each with several chapters. These fraternities and sororities are simply just a group of people with common ideas, thoughts, and morals.

They are also made up of the same gender for each group.

But recently, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut broke the usual Greek practices. Fraternity members, staff at the school, and alumni all made an executive decision to allow female members, who would regularly have to join a sorority if they wanted to be in a Greek group, to have the choice of joining a fraternity.

Fraternities at Wesleyan University have three years to be accepting of both genders and be co-ed friendly.

Only Trinity College, another Connecticut college, has been the other school to have initiated these changes, which happened back in 2012. Fraternities, unfortunately, have the reputation of hosting out of control parties, allowing excessive drinking/drug usage, and supposedly the reason behind high sexual assault rates on campuses. Wesleyan’s Mu Epsilon chapter is better known as the “Rape Factory”, according to Tyler Kingkade of The Huffington Post, because of an accusation alleging a rape at a pledge party the previous spring by a nonmember of the fraternity.

It continues to have a poor reputation due to a terrible incident just last month.

A female sophomore attending school at the University fell from a third-story window at the fraternity’s house and was extremely injured. Out of control parties like this and run ins with lawsuits over attempted rape complaints led to Beta Theta Pi chapter being suspended from the University for a year.

The University lost confidence in the Greek group being able to handle their gatherings and themselves, therefore resulting in an extreme penalization.

Then came a mindset change toward Wesleyan University’s Greek life as a whole.

After analyzing these inappropriate happenings that occurred too frequently with fraternities, one of many opinions believe that the cause of these sexual assaults is due to the gathering of just men in an environment. When putting males in a group together, their masculinity is enhanced and amplified by each other, causing them to feel superior to all. The support from each other is an important part of fraternity living, but can also lead to the overwhelming feeling of superiority.

Not all believe that adding females to the mix of men will necessarily be the answer. Mollie Gillis, freshmen sorority member at University of Alabama, states, “While I firmly believe that sexual assault is a major problem on campus, and everything possible to stop it should be done, I do not see how women’s memberships in fraternities would have any positive effect pertaining to this issue.”

Wesleyan University has yet to make a statement specifying why they believe adding women to the male Greek groups will solve any problems. But making co-ed fraternities can either escalate the problem or decrease it, depending on how the fraternity members feel about the new change to their beloved man time.