Signatures

A total of 191 students have signed the petition as of 10 p.m. on Feb. 20.

Signatures with comments:

Patrick Ammerman ’14

I have full confidence that a sorority on campus will benefit the sisters that join it, but I feel that there has not been sufficient conversation about how it can serve a positive role for the entire campus. It has been my experience that Greek life at Swarthmore is a positive influence for some students, but that many find that the activities of the current fraternities are not pertinent to their college experience and that some are even repelled by activities associated with them. Before we drastically expand what is already a polarizing presence on campus, I hope we can critically examine our current Greek culture and discuss how it can be a positive presence to our entire community.

Marian Firke ’14

I believe that we must be egalitarian in our approach to Greek Life. If we continue to permit the existence of fraternities, then we must also give KAT the same rights and responsibilities on campus. However, I would feel safer and more satisfied with the social scene of Swarthmore College with no greek life whatsoever.

Paul Green ’16

From what I know about it in my time at Swat, Greek Life isn’t what I want a part of our school to be. I think there’s definitely a place for campus-wide parties, but I see no strong other reason for their existence. Obviously many peoples’ personal feelings run counter to this. But, I think there should be a discussion about it’s continuation, especially given the addition of the sorority to campus, which adds a 3rd Greek body to an already small school population.
I’m on the track team, which I realize is like a Greek ‘group’ in its own ways, but I feel like and like to think that we’re brought together by the love of our sport.. we may be occasionally cliquey, but the main vehicle for coming together is something positive– athletics. What is the vehicle for fraternity in our campus Greek Life? Could it be alcohol abuse? I don’t know, but I think an investigation of their ‘vehicle for togetherness’ would be good. That’s why I sign.

Jong In Jun ’16

I think we only hear from those who have a strong opinion on the issue. We need to know what the silent majority feels about the issue.

Aaron Kroeber ’16

Greek life supports a culture of division, of drawing lines between peers. The college has no place endorsing such behavior, particularly by giving them their own space. The seemingly-well founded accusations of misogyny and belittlement of women at the fraternities, as well as the unsafe drinking practices conducted during rush, further show how the culture of Greek life is incompatible with the college.

There is no place for exclusionary, divisive organizations at a college that seeks to be all-inclusive.

William Lawrence ’13

Based on conversations I’ve had, it’s clear that participation in Greek Life is a valuable experience for many people. It’s also clear that some people feel unsafe because of the influence of Greek Life on Swarthmore’s campus. These two viewpoints need to come into conversation. The outcome will likely be antagonistic, but it will hopefully also allow us to understand each other better.

Aurora Martinez del Rio ’16

Everyone should get a say in this matter.

Peera Songkunnatham ’15

I don’t have strong positions; I sign this petition because I want to hear all sides and fractions within them, so that I settle on a position. I do see this as a dialogue: it’s true that some of us will hear what we want to hear, but I’m sure there will be others who listen. I see this not as a threatening move, because to talk about it at an institutional level brings people together to decide on what many of us think is important to decide.

Erik Tvetenstrand ’14

The small, non-intrusive presence of Greek life on campus was one of many reasons that I came to Swarthmore over other similar schools. I feel like campus is a small place already, and there is no need to further segment it with exclusive groups. Swarthmore was once famous for removing its sororities to combat discrimination and cliquishness. Now, with the reversal of that decision, I feel we are slowly beginning to erode that progress.

Patrick Walsh ’14

I do not think Swarthmore should have officially chartered fraternities and sororities. I am supportive of any group on Swarthmore’s campus. However, as institutions themselves, official fraternities and sororities are (by definition) exclusive based on gender. No matter how Greek life might be enacted on Swarthmore’s campus, the ties to the official institutions will ensure that trans* identities are excluded or marginalized.

Joyce H. Wu ’15

Reports of misogyny and homophobia by brothers both inside and outside of the houses; the ways that fraternity and sorority culture perpetuate unsafe drinking and sexual assault; and the increased marginalization of people of color, and queer and trans people in the fraternities are all based on individual experiences, but that does not mean that they should be discounted. The fact still remains that the fraternities make some people uncomfortable. Furthermore, the fraternities get space and privileges that are not afforded to other student groups.

Maybe getting rid of Greek organizations doesn’t seem like it makes sense based on these arguments — after all, they all seem like issues that can be dealt with by reform. My last point, though, comes from colleges with similar backgrounds to ours — small liberal arts colleges founded by Quakers, that still hold Quaker values whether or not they’re still affiliated. We have only to look to the colleges closest to us, those in the Tri-Co, to see that very few other small, historically Quaker colleges ever had or still have Greek life. That’s because the exclusion that Greek life promotes goes against Quaker notions of equality.

Eddie Zhang ’13

“The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition that requires illusions.”

Anonymous ’13

The fraternities and sororities should be disbanded since they are exclusionary, harmful, and antiquated institutions.

Anonymous ’13

No matter how hard their members try to be welcoming and open, fraternities and sororities, are inherently exclusive in a way that is different from other groups: rather than coming together around a particular activity or interest, members of fraternities and sororities choose each other purely to be members of a social club–a role appropriate for informal friend groups, not institutionalized, funded organizations. They foster divisions in the college community that are incompatible with the values Swarthmore was founded on. Finally, Greek organizations explicitly promote an alcohol-fueled party culture that is toxic, destructive, and largely illegal.

Anonymous ’13

As a woman who has personally experienced discomfort/harassment at the fraternities, I feel I should express my disapproval of the strengthening -via the sorority- of the Greek life on campus.
In my humble opinion, a Quaker institution cannot stay true to its values while upholding those inherent to the Greek system.

-Also, to those women arguing that they want to meet new people – SIT AT A DIFFERENT TABLE FOR MEALS
– To those that want to provide charitable services to benefit the community – JOIN A CLUB WITH YOUR INTERESTS or START A NEW CLUB
– Those arguing that women need a safe space – THE WRC IS AMAZING! CHECK IT OUT!
– Those that want connections upon graduation? – CAREER SERVICES ALWAYS HAS THEIR DOOR OPEN.
There is no need to integrate a potentially “toxic” organization when we have a plethora of benefits at our fingertips. Please don’t overlook our opportunities and our privilege.

Anonymous ’13

No. Just no.

Anonymous ’13

I think that the spaces that the fraternities occupy serve a necessary function as party spaces, but they could do so without them being the home to fraternities, which inherently carry connotations of exclusivity and misogyny. If there are people on this campus that want to create exclusive clubs, they have the right to do so, but they should not have a physical space to call their own where others may not feel as welcome. Both the Phi Psi and the DU houses should be reclaimed as public party spaces, similar to Olde Club and that hellhole we call Paces, where the Fraternities/Sorority can hold parties but have no more precedence than other student groups. In that way, they might not carry such a stigma and prevent a large portion of campus from enjoying having fun in those buildings.

Anonymous ’13

I understand that Swarthmore is an exclusive institution that requires compensation, but that doesn’t mean students groups should also be able to require dues. Even though I will be gone next year, I think Swarthmore should maintain its identity as a safe haven away from elitist malarky like the Greek system.

That being said, I frequent the fraternities on the weekends and I consider many members to be close friends, but I think moving away from the monopoly Greek life has on social events would be pretty cool. The sorority probably won’t change the overall feel of the college, but abolishing the Greek system certainly will! Let’s try it, please.

Anonymous ’13

No matter how hard their members try to be welcoming and open, fraternities and sororities, are inherently exclusive in a way that is different from other groups: rather than coming together around a particular activity or interest, members of fraternities and sororities choose each other purely to be members of a social club–a role appropriate for informal friend groups, not institutionalized, funded organizations. They foster divisions in the college community that are incompatible with the values Swarthmore was founded on. Finally, Greek organizations explicitly promote an alcohol-fueled party culture that is toxic, destructive, and largely illegal.

Anonymous ’13

I am signing this petition because I believe there should be more open, campus wide discussions of issues with the greek system as a whole (the interest meetings for the sorority last year were not an appropriate avenue for that– those who were not interested in joining did not feel like they belonged at such meetings, plus it wasn’t a place to discuss both fraternities and sororities as a whole). I personally do not think that greek life should be banned, but I think there are problems in the system at Swat currently and a better understanding of grievances on both side of this issue is necessary.

Anonymous ’15

I’m neither for nor against the fraternity, because I honestly don’t think it will affect campus life all that much. However, I do feel that not enough attention has been paid to the opinions, thoughts, and reasoning of girls who have chosen to be in the sorority. I hope this can be a chance for them to express to the campus why they have interest in it, so that the campus has a better sense of what both sides are saying. I think the campus community will be surprised that many of these girls have the same reasons for being in the sorority as non-sorority members have for being in the groups of which they’re a part. Only after all sides of the story have been presented can the campus truly have a fair, open-minded, Swarthmore-style discussion about how to proceed. While many opponents of the sorority have been claiming that Greek life goes against the the institution’s Quaker values, it also goes against our Quaker values to criticize something before we’ve heard all their is to say about it. That’s why I’m pro-referendum.

Anonymous ’15

I think there should be a space to talk about this.

Anonymous ’16

I do not believe Greek life at Swarthmore should be so prominent. I would be inclined to ban it, but then we would have a harder time organizing social events and using spaces for said events. The frats provide a structure for throwing parties, for those of us who want them. I am more concerned with frats than sororities, in fact, because of the frat’s access to alcohol which is ultimately more harmful.

Anonymous ’16

If you want to have a tight-knit group of friends, I have no problem with that. However, taking that close group of friends and making it an institution among your peers who may not want it is essentially analogous to the creation of a social fiefdom. You are creating a place where people have to pass tests or perform initiations in order to have friends. Social grandstanding, attention grabbing, and exclusivity. These are the three main facets of Greek life, and they really only serve the function of over inflating egos and making life miserable for those of us who do not wish to be part of it. Traditional? We are part of Swarthmore. We break traditions. We scream, and kick, and fight like hell, but we do not close ourselves off by establishing limits on ourselves.

Anonymous ’16

I think the primary benefit of the new sorority provides that we don’t have yet is a socializing and party space for women that can be more active than what the WRC currently hosts. I don’t like that the frats and sororities effectively institutionalize and exclude non-members from what should be informal social groups.I think the primary benefit of the new sorority provides that we don’t have yet is a socializing and party space for women that can be more active than what the WRC currently hosts. I don’t like that the frats and sororities effectively institutionalize and exclude non-members from what should be informal social groups.

Signatures without comments:

Alex Ahn ’14
Atish Agarwala ’13
Carolyn Anderson ’14
Ximena Anleu ’15
Murphy Austin ’15
Lisa Bao ’14
Victoria Barber ’13
Pravin Barton ’15
Gabe Benjamin ’15
Benjamin Bernard-Herman ’14
Thomas Boucher ’14
Canaan Breiss ’16
Samuel Buchl ’14
Christopher Chalaka ’15
Julia Chartove ’14
Nate Cheek ’15
Bryan Chen ’15
Stephanie Chia ’13
Laina Chin ’16
Paul Chung ’14
Jason Clayton ’16
Andrés Cordero ’16
Natali Cortes ’13
Maria Elena Covarrubias ’15
Ezra Day-Roberts ’13
Amelia Dornbush ’15
Olivia Edwards ’14
Gail Engmann ’14
Amanda Epstein ’15
Janessa Esquivel ’13
Rossana Estrada ’15
William Fedullo ’16
Nick Felt ’13
Leah Foster ’14
Rachel Fresques ’14
Chase Fuller ’16
Rebekah Gelpi ’15
Benjamin Geselowitz ’13
Rachel Giovanniello ’14
Yin Guan ’13
Joelle H. ’16
Miriam Hauser ’13
Sachie Hayakawa ’13
Jovanna Hernandez ’13
Joan Huang ’15
Ben Johnson ’14
Nora Kerrich ’16
Henry Kietzman ’14
Sarah Kim ’13
Tiffany Kim ’16
Hanna King ’14
Elizabeth Kramer ’15
Brian L. ’14
Laura Laderman ’15
Koby Levin ’15
Mark Levine-Weinberg ’14
Vasomnoleak Ly ’15
Maya Marzouk ’13
Daniel May ’16
Maura McGuire ’14
Allison McKinnon ’13
Joshua McLucas ’15
Ben Mercado ’14
Samuel Mori ’16
Parker Murray ’15
Peter Nilsson ’15
Abigail Norling-Ruggles ’16
Hannah Pugh ’16
Yena Purmasir ’14
Jackson Pietsch ’13
Raisa Reyes ’15
Anya Rose ’16
Alison Roseberry-Polier ’14
Chayanon Ruamcharoen ’15
Stuart Russell ’14
Mario Sanchez ’16
Karim Sariahmed ’13
Jonah Schwartz ’15
Allison Shultes ’15
Nathan Siegel ’15
Alexander Simms ’16
Mitchell Slapik ’14
Eugenia Sokolskaya ’13
Chloe Stevens ’13
Anna Stitt ’13
Nithya Swaminathan ’16
Greg Taschuk ’13
Doriana Thornton ’16
Melissa Tier ’14
Treasure Tinsley ’15
Alec Toro ’15
Vienna Tran ’13
Ximena Violante ’14
Jonah Wacholder ’13
Emma Waitzman ’14
Adrian Wan ’15
Alexandra Willingham ’15
Benjamin Wolcott ’14
Shinae Yoon ’16
Patricia Zarate ’14
Elaine Zhou ’16
Zhenglong Zhou ’16
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