By Ali Cleveland
One of the main reasons I came to Point Loma was due to the lack of fraternities or sororities. Greek life is absent on campus for good reason: it creates exclusionary cliques in the midst of a community united in Christ. I was shocked when the new “PLNU Frat” followed me on Instagram last week and I immediately started trying to figure out what kind of group it was going to be. It did not take long for the administrator of the account to begin deleting comments and questions on their page. In hindsight, I probably should have expected this since fraternities have historically done an excellent job at silencing feminine voices.
As a private Christian university, PLNU is already battling traditional patterns of racism, homophobia, and misogyny. Current students are dedicated to battling the institutional oppression that might occur and a fraternity would throw so much of that progress out of the window. Fraternities contain some of the highest rates of sexual violence experienced on college campuses. Research has shown that men who join fraternities are three times as likely to commit sexual violence compared to those who do not join a fraternity (Foubert, Newberry, & Tatum, 2007). Headlines are constantly spotlighting various cases of fraternities members being violent towards other as well as having significant racial and class divides. Not only is the rate of violence completely ridiculous, modern fraternities are centered around a drinking culture that is antithetical to the mission of our university. We are given no guarantee that this new fraternity would be any different than those in the past, even on a Christian campus.
Any argument supporting a frat culture does not belong on a campus that is already centered around community life. Philanthropy can be seen through the numerous Christian ministries that thrive on campus. Students interested in joining out a frat should instead check out the multiple different opportunities to get involved spiritually, academically, or politically on campus.
An argument from the opposition in favor of fraternities is that it creates opportunities for networking. However, when there are myriad networking opportunities in diverse fields already available on campus, it is hard to conceptualize what new thing a fraternity can bring to the table.
Small groups offer students the ability to form deeper relationships with each other absent of a frat. Fraternities do not lead to more inclusion, but act as another actor to exclude students from a “brotherhood.” If their Instagram page is any example, PLNU’s fraternity is already practicing exclusion by deleting current student’s and alumni’s comments on their club page.
Unfortunately, PLNU can’t ban entitled while men who want to practice their hypermasculinity from creating an organization outside of campus life. Though it is prohibited from using university resources, a fraternity of Point Loma men is being organized and is trying to generate support from students on campus. This means that the responsibility falls on the community to keep ourselves accountable and shut down the social backing that fraternities crave.Students need to be held responsible for supporting institutions like fraternities that are centered around rape culture. Hold your friends accountable for the groups they are joining.
Fraternities are already laced with history of sexual violence, misogyny, racism, homophobia, and classism. They have no place on a campus that is actively trying to combat such forms of oppression. Keep the ban PLNU. Keep frats away from our campus.