Coeducational Houses Present Overlooked Alternatives

by Robert Puckett | 5/27/96 5:00am

To the Editor:

Tim Young '96 rightfully criticizes parts of Steve Schmidt '97's analysis of why '99s should join the Greek system ["Conformity Explained," The Dartmouth, May 22].

But Young fails to point out the alternatives that exist within the Greek system, namely coeducational houses. I would like to expand on his critique of Schmidt's column, and show that it is not applicable to the coed experience.

There is an implicit argument in Schmidt's column -- if you want to keep the Greek system primarily single sex, then join a Greek house. However, there are lots of people in my house and others who want to see more coed houses.

Even though Schmidt writes the paragraph about "change from the inside," this column is a call to preserve the status quo of the Greek system, not to move it forward. But worse than that, he implies a pretty bad image of what the status quo is: anti-intellectuals drinking free-flowing beer in single-sex houses.

This does not describe the full diversity of the Greek system. There is a way to avoid "conformity" without total independence from the Greek system. There are three coed Greek houses which provide social options that are wholly unlike single-sex houses.

They, in my experience, respect and foster individuality, and do so without any sort of "enforced segregation by gender" or "subordination."

Therefore the duality of "give in" or "give out" cannot apply. I can testify to this fact, as I have shared an experience with my siblings that is wholly unlike what Schmidt describes in his column.

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