UO faculty respond to Robin Holmes’s fraternity and sorority report

Diane Dietz has a story on the report that longtime UO VP for Student Life Robin Holmes commissioned from  Mark Koepsell (Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values) and Jeremiah Schinn (Interim Associate VPSL at Boise State), along with responses from Holmes, here. Unlike Holmes’s Op-Ed on the basketball rape allegations, which was ghost-written by Jennifer Winters and Rita Radostitz under the supervision of Roger Thompson, it seems she gave these answers herself:

Sexual assault is roundly acknowledged to exist in UO fraternities and sororities, but rapes are hushed up to protect the groups’ reputations, the ­report found.

… Fraternity and sorority members can be powerful leaders, Holmes said. “Look at the slate of candidates for our student body election,” she said. “Two-thirds of them are Greek, in fraternity and sorority life. They tend to be our strongest leaders. They tend to be more engaged. They tend to have a very positive impression of their institution, so they often are very strong alums and have really strong affection for the university because they are so engaged,” she said.

The report is here, and here’s the take from some UO faculty that are engaged in the problems:

1. There’s no discussion of halting Fraternity and Sorority Life expansion, despite the acknowledged risks. Instead, their solution is to create more sororities. It would be better to halt all FSL expansion immediately and look for ways to scale back so that we slowly over time get rid of FSL.

2. The report cites student demand for FSL as justification for expansion and for hiring more administrators and spending more money addressing the toxic culture FSL creates. Instead UO should find healthy ways to satisfy the desire for group affiliation, such as housing based on shared academic or civic interests, and replace the advertising that fraternities and sororities give at new student orientation so that students can see that there are alternatives to the party scene at UO. Preventing FSL from marketing itself to new students and prohibiting freshman from rushing would help reduce student demand. 

3. How can the source of the problem provide solutions to it? It’s like expecting the NFL to provide leadership around concussive head injuries. We’ve seen how that works.

4. The report does bring up the link between fraternities, football, drinking, and sexual assault. What are the chances Robin Holmes and UO will follow up?

ASUO threatens to halt Fraternity / Sorority expansion over sexual assaults

Reporter Olivia Decklar has the story in the Emerald, here:

Results of the latest campus Climate Survey, conducted by Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon psychology professor, revealed 100% of Fraternity and Sorority Life-affiliated female students that reported non-consensual sexual contact were violated by male perpetrators.

“Imagine that Greek Life is a red square, taped on the ground, and if you walk into that red square, you are three times as likely to be sexually assaulted,” said Zach Lusby, the Associated Students of the University of Oregon senate seat three. “Why on earth are we making more squares?”

After the results from the Climate Survey were published, FSL conducted an external review, an assessment managed by professionals who are not affiliated with the UO and its FSL, on Oct. 12 and 13. …