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?

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

  1. Hippo says:

    Since in Schill’s overactive imagination he is working to move us closer to his former employer, perhaps he should follow in the footsteps of Robert Maynard Hutchins, who (1) abolished football at U of C, which was part of the Big Ten, and (2) closed the fraternities.

  2. LikesTheTequilaShot says:

    Very troubling article by Dietz. The serious violence that emerges from wild parties, and not the partying itself, is the problem in need of a solution.
    If the choice is between alcohol free communion and roudy alcohol fueled parties, students will always choose the booze. So why aren’t we talking about some other alternatives, like allowing partying, allowing booze, but taking steps to ensure that this is done in moderation? The goal should be a culture where you go to a frat party to have a couple of beers or a couple of shots of tequila, and that’s enough to have a good time.

  3. Ganelon (not a greek) says:

    Has no one taken a statistics class, or been taught scientific method? A sample of 100 people, at least some of whom were not greek inducted students and included faculty or staff is supposed to be representative of 4000+ greek students? Sounds like more special snowflakes…