Swarthmore College Votes to Make Greek Life Gender Inclusive

Swarthmore College has voted to make Greek Life organizations gender-inclusive in a campus referendum. The referendum was one of six questions voted upon by the Swarthmore student body regarding Sororities and Fraternities at the college. The six questions were,

  1. Do you support ceasing Delta Upsilon’s and Kappa Alpha Theta’s affiliations to their national chapters?

  2. Do you support admitting students of all genders to sororities and fraternities?

  3. Do you support making fraternity houses into substance-free spaces?

  4. Do you support merging all sororities and fraternities into one campus building?

  5. Do you support having no campus buildings expressly for the purpose of housing Greek organizations?

  6. Do you support the abolition of sororities and fraternities at Swarthmore College?

The campus organization Swat Vote Yes campaigned for the abolition of Greek Life entirely, however, only the referendum pertaining to gender inclusivity passed.

The passage of a referendum does not guarantee that this action will be taken by the Colleges Board of Managers. “What a referendum would be is a thermometer of feeling of the student body … a referendum is not a guarantee of action.” It would, however, be taken more seriously than an opinion poll…” said student body co-president, Victor Brady, to Swarthmore College’s campus newspaper, Daily Gazette.

Swarthmore College does not have a large Greek life, with two fraternities: Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon, and one sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta. Sororities were banned at Swarthmore from 1933 to 2012 after an incident in the 1930’s, when a Jewish student was not permitted to join a sorority. Kappa Alpha Theta began accepting bids for membership in the beginning of the 2013 Spring Semester.

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