Frat ban lifts for Class of 2025

The lift, which occurred on Monday, was hailed by many freshmen as an opportunity to fully integrate into campus culture.

by Manasi Singh | 10/28/21 5:10am

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by Oliver De Jonghe / The Dartmouth

The six-week-long “frat ban” for the Class of 2025 was lifted this past Monday. A Greek Leadership Council policy, the ban prohibits first-year students from entering Greek houses with the exception of pre-approved dry events. 

Since its implementation in 2013, the frat ban — formally known as the “Greek First-Year Safety and Risk Reduction Policy” — has sustained a safe social environment for freshmen, according to Greek Leadership Council chair Brandon Zhou ’22. 

“We're trying to allow first-year students to find community and friends before they’re introduced to Greek spaces.” Zhou said. 

Chithra Singareddy ’22 said that, indeed, she felt the frat ban allowed her to foster connections with people prior to entering Greek spaces.

“I think the frat ban is important because you need to make your friends before you go out,” Singareddy said. “You need to experience a bigger part of campus and see more people in a non-drinking context before you see them going out.”

Sophie Kodak ’23 said that she hopes freshmen will be able to enjoy Dartmouth’s social scene more than they would absent the frat ban. 

“I think it’s really important for people to experience college and transition into Dartmouth without having that added layer of Greek life, because there’s so much beyond that,” Kodak said. “If you were to come into college and immediately have access to those spaces, I feel like it would potentially limit your exploration of other social spaces on campus.”

Many ’25s were excited to finally attend fraternity parties. 

Eiha Patnaik ’25 said that she is looking forward to being able to participate fully in campus  culture. 

“I'm glad that the frat ban is over because it allows us to actually do something during the nights,” Patnaik said.

Patnaik added that while weekend activities hosted by Collis After Dark — including mini golf, roller skating and movie showings — have been “fun,” she feels the lifting of the frat ban will help integrate freshmen into Dartmouth’s broader community, as Greek spaces tend to play a large role in upperclassmen’s social lives. 

Gabriella Silva ’25 similarly said that she is looking forward to entering Greek spaces for the first time.

“I feel relieved and excited that I’ll be able to meet more people,” Silva said. She added, however, that she recognizes the benefits of other social spaces. 

“The frat ban was useful in the sense that it forced the ’25s to interact with each other and form stronger connections,” Silva noted. “It really prepared us for frats, as well, in the sense that we have a group to go with and we know what to expect.”

The 2021-22 academic year is unique in that, since COVID-19 safety guidelines prohibited large gatherings for all of last year, many members of the Class of 2024 also entered Greek spaces for the first time this fall. 

While discussion about a modified frat ban for the current sophomore class was briefly discussed, it was not put in place, according to Zhou. He explained that while Greek houses did discuss what a frat ban for the Class of 2024 might look like, the houses did not want to enforce one. 

“[A frat ban for the Class of 2024] was something that we discussed as a collective between all the chapter presidents, but we decided we did not want to implement one,” Zhou said. “Especially considering the rush timeline this year for [sororities and fraternities], it didn’t make too much sense.”

Singareddy agreed with the decision to not enforce a frat ban for the Class of 2024. 

“The ’24s do not need the frat ban because they have had all of freshman year to make friends,” Singareddy said. She added that, since sorority and frat rush concluded on Oct. 6 and Oct. 16, respectively, the sophomores would have become affiliated before the lift. 

Many members of the Class of 2024 were grateful that they were not subject to the ban as sophomores. Danny Armella ’24 said that she was surprised that it was even considered.

Armella added that, with fraternities and sororities closed to the public and the Class of 2024  largely isolated from the College’s community for all of the 2020-2021 academic year, it was difficult to gain perspective on Greek houses before deciding to rush.

“I think we got dealt the worst freshman year overall,” Armella said. “Coming back and being able to participate in everything has really made me feel more at home here.”

Sasha Kokoshinskiy ’22, a member of Zeta Psi fraternity, said that ending the frat ban on a Monday was “confusing,” as many freshmen attempted to enter Greek houses that were not hosting parties the night of the lift. 

“I think around campus that sort of caused a lot of confusion, and so I think definitely maybe reconsidering to end on a different night to just improve safety and community would be a good idea,” Kokoshinskiy said.

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