In the wake of the killing of six Asian women and two white men in the Atlanta area last week, the Cornell student government approved a resolution that calls on administrators to consider disarming campus police and abolishing Greek Life.
“Asian American women everywhere suffer from the racialization of our bodies and the disgusting fetishization of the white male gaze that so easily turns into white male violence,” the resolution states.
Then the resolution targets Greek Life.
“Deadly white male violence begins at home, on college campuses, dorm rooms and fraternity houses (fraternity men are three times more likely to commit rape than their non-Greek peers,” it states, adding “fraternities at Cornell perpetuates misogyny, transphobia, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.”
It goes on to heap blame on police for the massacre.
“[I]n the Atlanta shootings, the police did not save the Asian American women who were shot and killed,” the resolution states, adding that police are not acting quick enough to call it a hate crime.
The resolution then links other recent high-profile deaths with the Atlanta shooting, arguing “police do not protect or serve marginalized communities.”
This reasoning led the Cornell Student Assembly to approve the resolution that calls on administrators to:
review policies and action items over fraternity system, including reform, disband or abolish to make sure Cornell campus would protect Cornell community, especially Asian and other vulnerable communities [and] continue reviewing the legality of disarmament and reconsider disarming the Cornell University Police Department.
The resolution also seeks a review of the Title IX and bias response offices, more ethnic studies offerings, and mandatory mental health training for faculty.
Not everyone was in full support of the resolution, the Cornell Sun reports:
“I think it’s regrettable that we’re exploiting the concerns of the Chinese and Asian student population in targeting Greek life,” said Everest Yan ’22, president of the Cornell chapter of Phi Delta Theta. “As far as I’ve experienced, and as far as the Asian members of Greek life that I know have experienced, it’s been a very welcoming and hospitable environment for us.”
S.A. Vice President of Finance Uche Chukwukere ’21 said that, despite his role as president of the Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council, he thinks the harms of Greek life outweigh the benefits — arguing in favor of dissolving Cornell’s Greek life system.
Ultimately, the manifesto passed, with the abolitionist language replaced with a request that the University “review policies and action items over [the] fraternity system, including reform, disband or abolish to make sure [the] Cornell campus would protect [the] Cornell community, especially Asian and other vulnerable communities.” The resolution also called for Cornell to again consider disarming the Cornell University Police Department.
Late last week, the president of Eastern Washington University also furthered the narrative that the Atlanta shootings suspect merely acted out of racial animus toward the Asian community.