In a bold move to address the issues that have been damaging its school's reputation, Dartmouth College's student newspaper, The Dartmouth, ran a front-page editorial that called for an end to Greek life at the New Hampshire-based, Ivy League school.
The Dartmouth, which prides itself on being America’s oldest college newspaper, published the opinion piece last Friday and credited the entire editorial board as its author.
The article wastes no time in sugar-coating the issue and instead gets down to the core of argument right off the bat: “The time for cowardice is over. Let’s do what needs to be done … and abolish the Greek system.”
It then tallies off a list of many infractions the school’s fraternities and sororities have gotten wrapped up in over the years. Offenses include unlawful hazing rituals and racially-charged themed parties.
— The Dartmouth (@thedartmouth) October 17, 2014
Before you read further, you may think that the editorial board is an uninvolved third party out to bash the system and point to it as the source of all of the college’s issues involving drugs, sexual assault and hazing, but that’s not the case. In fact, Lindsay Ellis, the paper’s editor-in-chief, claims she is affiliated with the Greek system.
In an important distinction, the board points out that Greek life isn’t the root of the problem. The system simply adds fuel to the fire by “[amplifying] students' worst behavior.”
“It facilitates binge drinking and sexual assault," writes the editorial board. "It perpetuates unequal, gendered power dynamics and institutionalizes arbitrary exclusivity."
At Dartmouth, approximately 50 percent of the student body are affiliated with the Greek life system. So as you can imagine, many are firing back in defense. The online version of the article already has 128 comments, not all of which are messages of support for the end of the Greek system at the Ivy League institution.
While the students behind The Dartmouth are proposing an action intended only for their school, they are also taking a dramatic stance that can be translated to a broader landscape of campuses across the country. What do you think of the decision at hand at Dartmouth, collegiettes? What do you think about the Greek life system at your school, if you have one?