The Daily Pennsylvanian
9.13.16 | Ben Goodman
Why a Response from Individual Fraternities is Necessary for Real Change
“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” - Paul Batalden, M.D.
Let me preface the following discussion by saying that I am not in a fraternity and do realize that they offer many benefits for their members: life-long friendship, deep alumni networks and social structure, to name a few.
That being said, as I am sure you are all aware, there has been a vocal conversation on campus after the OZ email flyering that took place on Tuesday. On campus, we have received strong statements of condemnation of this email and the culture it represents from the Penn administration and Interfraternity Council. The IFC released a statement in which they said:
“We categorically denounce the behavior this email so brazenly perpetuates. Sexual objectification, nonconsensual contact, and harassment in any form are not tolerated by the IFC. We will not remain complacent; the Greek community will stand together to combat any culture of passivity and normalization of these actions.”
While I do appreciate the sentiment expressed by the IFC, it rings hollow without individual fraternities speaking up and taking concrete actions. It rings hollow when there already clearly is a ‘culture of passivity and normalization of these actions’ at Penn. According to the DP, such “Wild Wednesday” emails have been sent out for at least the past three years. It rings hollow when 27 percent of female undergraduates at Penn reported being victims of “nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching involving physical force or incapacitation” in a Campus Climate survey by the American Association of Universities.