Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 2/6/11 11:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum advocated building physical structures for all sororities as a meaningful step towards improving campus gender relations. Are more female-dominated spaces a feasible way to increase gender parity?

The question whether we should build more Greek houses for females implicitly assumes that the Greek system will always be the entirety of Dartmouth's social scene. If Dartmouth changed its housing policies by creating a residential college system, for instance this would probably no longer be the case. If there were realistic alternatives to the Greek system, gender imbalances wouldn't be an issue in the first place.Jonathan Pedde

Approving physical plants for Alpha Phi and Kappa Delta might be a step in the right direction, but the disorder in Dartmouth's social system runs much deeper than, "Who has more social spaces to dominate?" All this talk about competition and empowerment and control sounds sort of un-fun doesn't it? When every party is a power struggle, you've got to wonder if there's some violence inherent in the system.Charles Clark

Unlike many fraternities on campus, Dartmouth's new sororities do not benefit from alumni networks that facilitate fundraising and construction. The administration's insistence that houses be College-owned constrains the potential role that national sisterhoods could play in their construction. If the administration wishes to assume full responsibility for the process, it must follow through with its obligations. Lauren Rosenbaum

New physical spaces would certainly bring comfort to those sororities lacking houses, but is this what the Board actually wants? Consider the steady eradication of Greek systems across the country, the constant demonization of our Greek system by progressives and the current police state we are being subjected to, and perhaps you'll see that the Board doesn't want to invest millions in an institution that might not exist in a matter of decades.Matt StumpfWhile physical plants for these sororities would be beneficial during recruitment, these spaces will not affect gender parity issues for the greater part of campus. KD and Alpha Phi are both national sororities, so they will not be able to host open parties anyway. In reality, these physical plants will only be giving female-dominated spaces to the sisters of these houses, while the rest of campus is still left with the current social space options.Natalie Colaneri

If Dartmouth wishes to improve gender relations, the administration should prioritize creating social areas where people of any gender and sexuality would be comfortable interacting, rather than creating a balanced ratio of single-gender spaces. For example, College administrators could create an open social space akin to One Wheelock, but with room for more students to mingle. Doing so will not only create a safer open environment for social exchange, but possibly temper the monopoly that the Greek system has on our social environment.Yoo Jung Kim

Dartmouth needs more female-dominated spaces to counterbalance the fraternity system. However, since national sororities are largely barred from throwing open campus parties anyway, physical plants for Alpha Phi and KD will likely have little effect on the realities of the broader gendered campus social culture.Brian Solomon

While building new physical structures for sororities would increase gender parity at Dartmouth, I believe it is more important to make sure sororities are encouraged to hold more campus-wide events and are treated as equals to fraternities when they choose to do so.Jacob Batchelor

While increasing the number of sororities with physical plants will lead to a more equitable Greek system in terms of gender, the social scene will still be dominated by the fraternities. Simply building sorority houses will not change the status quo.Suril Kantaria