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Don’t stop talking about problematic fraternities until changes are made

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MARCH 09, 2018

More than a week after allegations of drugging and sexual assault at Sigma Chi fraternity became public, not much has changed other than a few lackluster apologies and hollow statements of support for women.

Beyond instituting an indefinite “social probation” — which is deeply insufficient given the allegations — no organization is adequately holding fraternities such as Sigma Chi accountable (though it’s comforting to see that the Panhellenic Council will not be participating in Sigma Chi’s annual philanthropic Derby Days event). The Interfraternity Council, or IFC, and student government officials merely offer vague calls to action, and Chancellor Carol Christ and the administration has remained entirely silent on the matter. In fact, UC Berkeley’s Division of Student Affairs still lists Sigma Chi as a “Gold Star Organization.”

The campus administration and the ASUC are the two main governing bodies advocating for, representing and supporting UC Berkeley students. They are obligated to ensure the safety and wellbeing of this community, and it’s up to them to institute dramatic changes and reforms — including funding cuts and all-out bans — when necessary. So where are they now?

Many elected ASUC senators initially ran on platforms of preventing sexual violence. And yet, all they’re doing now is releasing empty and woefully insufficient statements that call on the IFC to “rise to the occasion.”

How dare anybody say the IFC must “rise to the occasion.” When was the last time the IFC rose to anything? Expecting them to do so is a fool’s errand — pointless and disappointing. What is it about Greek student leaders’ two-year silence on drugging and sexual violence that instills confidence in their ability to self-govern?

Campus administrators and elected ASUC officials are the ones who need to rise to the occasion. The ASUC has control over money that goes to social fraternities and has significant access to high-up campus officials, and yet when a sprawling case of rampant misconduct arises, it doesn’t exert its power.

Because of the ASUC’s weak response, The Daily Californian editorial board sent a survey to all the ASUC senators and executives asking them direct yes or no questions about social fraternities and accountability. Of the 24 ASUC officials elected to partisan positions, 14 completed the form. Here are their responses.


Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

MARCH 09, 2018