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Swarthmore College to end Greek life on campus

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Fraternities and sororities will no longer exist at the College’

Swarthmore College has placed a total ban on Greek organizations at that school, with the institution’s president stating that the ban “reflects a broader change in student needs and desires.”

In a statement posted to the Pennsylvania school’s website, Swarthmore president Valerie Smith declared that “fraternities and sororities will no longer exist at the College” after the spring 2022 semester. Up to that point, Smith said, the campus chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority may continue, though it is not allowed to recruit any additional members.

The decision comes after a task force, convened by Smith last fall, recommended that the school “consider whether or not Greek organizations may continue on a basis comparable to other student groups.” Smith had commissioned the task force “to consult broadly throughout the community and to critically examine social life on campus—including Greek life and programming in campus social spaces.”

In her announcement, Smith also said that she will follow the task force’s recommendation of “ending the practice of leasing space to student groups.”

“It is inequitable for any student organization to have exclusive, long-term control over a college-owned social space,” the commission’s report said.

Greek life at the school was sharply curtailed this spring with the emergence of dozens of pages of “minutes” from campus fraternity meetings. The school’s two fraternities voluntarily disbanded after those documents emerged; the “minutes” included references to a “rape attic” and a “rape tunnel” in one fraternity house.

Read the announcement here.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated when the controversial fraternity “minutes” first emerged; they were leaked this spring, not last fall.

MORE: Students told not to use term ‘Greek Life’ because of ‘cultural appropriation’

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