Students protest Greek life at fraternity information session

Students demonstrate at a fraternity information session in Aidekman Arts Center on April 12. (Seohyun Shim / The Tufts Daily)

A group of students gathered in Remis Sculpture Court last night to protest the Tufts Fraternities Informational Event hosted by the Tufts Interfraternity Council (IFC). The event featured members of several fraternities who spoke with students about Greek life, according to IFC Recruitment and Philanthropy Chair Luke Murphy. Only two of the fraternities present — Zeta Beta Tau and ATO of Massachusettsare allowed to recruit new members because the others have been issued cease-and-desist orders.

Nicole Joseph, a junior who participated in the protest, explained that the protest had similar goals to the actions held in opposition to coordinated sorority recruitment two weeks ago.

“People of course have been angry at frats for years, and this is just one example of people showing how they’re upset about this,” Joseph said.

Joseph added that the reasoning behind this particular protest was that fraternities were participating in events, even though most of them have been issued cease-and-desist orders.

“If you read what cease-and-desist says, to me, it means that you can’t have any of these things. So you can’t meet, you can’t be doing anything, you can’t be organizing as a group at all,” Joseph said. “And this is clearly that. Of course they worked with [Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life] Su McGlone on this, but I think this is definitely a violation of cease-and-desist even though she approved of it.”

Joseph said she has not seen many clear institutional changes in Greek life and that the protest was intended to address this.

“Despite all the stuff that happened over the last year, it seems like [Greek organizations are] being let back into campus, and I’ve seen no changes in them,” Joseph said. “And I don’t think they have a right to be here.”

First-year Jon Adams, an attendee at the IFC event who is considering going through fraternity recruitment, explained that he hopes Greek life can make positive changes. He noted that he had not considered rushing a fraternity before arriving at Tufts.

“Despite all the negative responses and the recent anti-Greek life movement on campus, I am still realistically considering rushing,” Adams told the Daily in an electronic message. “It’s a community like many others that exist at Tufts, and like many others I want to see if there’s a place for me in it.”

Likewise, Murphy argued that Greek life can effect positive change, and for that reason he believes it should not be abolished. He added that he is disappointed by the lack of discourse between Greek life leaders and students calling for abolition but that he hopes to engage with protesters.

“We want to be a positive part of the Tufts community and work alongside the protesters,” Murphy told the Daily in an electronic message. “At the end of the day, we have the same goal of making Tufts a safer, more inclusive space for everyone. We simply disagree on how to achieve these goals.”