Abolish The Greek System
Abolish The Greek System
Why this petition matters
While we would first and foremost want UVA to report all crimes, including sex crimes, to the police, we understand that the University is not compelled to do so under the law.
Which brings us to our direct ask: Abolish the Greek System.
As alumni of UVA—and of the Greek system—we can attest to the insidious culture bred therein. We can attest to the racism, classism, and sexism contingent to this system’s success. Now, in a Nov. 19, 2014 article, Rolling Stone has reported on the use of gang rape as a PLEDGING RITUAL at a fraternity. The only logical response must be to end this culture entirely.
We know what you’re thinking—abolishing the Greek system at UVA is impossible. Tradition is one of the foremost tenets of UVA culture. You may worry that if you take this step, alumni will withdraw their financial support. You may have trouble imagining what the social scene will be like without parties on Rugby Road.
We get it. We were active participants in UVA’s Greek system. Twenty year later, our closest friends continue to be friends we made within that system. We drank keg beer at fraternity mixers with themes such as, “Pimps & Hos”. We bonded with our sorority sisters during all-night rush sessions. We, much to our regret, hazed first-year women with bizarre binge drinking and humiliation rituals. We experienced the best and the worst of what Greek life has to offer. And we feel strongly that the costs to the health of the University community far outweigh the benefits.
The Greek system does not cause binge drinking, rape, sexual assault, racism, or misogyny. It does, however, create an environment in which these things flourish. Sometimes, the mob mentality results in horrific circumstances such as the gang rape at Phi Kappa Psi. More often, it leads to casual sexual harassment and alcohol-related accidents. Surely, the benefits that do accrue to Greek life can be achieved via less harmful organizing systems.
We acknowledge the complexity of abolishing the Greek system. We have also witnessed the Berlin Wall fall in our lifetime. Surely, the Greek system could also go the way of other brutal, antiquated systems such as foot-binding and public executions.
After all, it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
Carey Albertine and Saira Rao