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From the Community: Committee releases official Greek life survey report

By and

Dear Stanford community,

In the fall of 2020, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Undergraduate Senate voted to pass a resolution supporting the dehousing of IFC/ISC Greek organizations on campus. As a result of the resolution passing, the ASSU Executive at the time created a Special Greek Life Committee tasked with developing a survey that would assess overall undergraduate student opinions and attitudes towards Greek life. 

The Greek Life Committee was composed of two ASSU Senators Co-Chairs, 2 members from Abolish Stanford Greek Life, 1 IFC representative, 1 ISC representative, and consulting members from the Stanford administration. Together, over the course of several months, the committee worked diligently to produce a comprehensive, unbiased, forward-looking survey to capture students’ feelings of both existing concerns within the Greek system and areas of potential growth. 

The Greek Life Committee launched the survey on Tuesday, April 6 and received 2,538 (~35%) responses. The respondents were diverse and broadly mirrored the demographics of the Stanford community. 

At a high level, the key takeaways from the results are:

  • There is widespread consensus that something needs to change with the Inter-Fraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Council Greek system with 83% of respondents preferring reforming it, de-housing them, or abolishing it. That being said, there remain diverse opinions amongst respondents about the appropriate path forward. 
  • A small majority (58%) of respondents favor the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and Inter-Sorority Council (ISC) losing some or all of their housing privileges, or Stanford banning the IFC and ISC greek system. 
  • Those who preferred altering/removing housing or banning the IFC/ISC Greek system were largely unaffiliated with the Greek system and had less interaction with the IFC/ISC Greek system on average. However, those who have severed their affiliation with Greek life were also largely in favor of altering/removing housing or banning.
  • Many of the people in favor of keeping the system (and perhaps reforming some aspects of it) acknowledged the current problems (e.g. sexual violence, racial and class inclusivity, and alcohol and drug safety) but believed that reforms can address them, valued the strong community that Greek life brings and were worried about what would happen to the already challenged social scene on campus if there was a removal of housing or banning (including the worry that it would simply move Greek life off campus and make it more exclusive).
  • Many of the people in favor of removal/altering of housing or banning were worried that the exclusive nature of Greek life and the benefits that come with it are unfair and incompatible with Stanford’s commitment to equity and inclusion, worried about the “primacy” in the social scene afforded to Greek communities, and worried about what they see as the toxic privilege and dangerous social norms within Greek communities. 
  • Respondents across the board were particularly worried about the high rates of sexual violence within Greek communities.
  • Respondents expressed a significant amount of frustration with what they perceived as an inadequate social scene at Stanford, and their constructive suggestions have been shared with the Stanford administration. 

We appreciate you taking the time to understand the results of the survey and welcome any feedback and comments you may have. You can find a more comprehensive breakdown of responses here

Best,

Jonathan and Lenny

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