Northwestern University students are calling for the abolition of fraternities and sororities as inherently racist institutions. The Instagram page “Abolition of the NU IFC / PHA (Interfraternity Council / Panhellenic Association)” condemns all those who support the Greek system as “continuing harm” to minorities.
The students stated, “The Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association are complicit in maintaining the damage. We need to get rid of these organizations that are shaped by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and classism. "It is an odd campaign given the existence of historically black brotherhoods and sororities like Alpha Phi Alpha. Furthermore, the concept of brotherhood or sisterhood is not inherently racist or discriminatory, although exclusionary policies have long plagued Greek systems (like universities as a whole).
Zana Rashid, a spokeswoman for the Panhellenic Association in the Northwest, has announced that the association is actually talking about the abolition. Closing the Greek system would hit 20 percent of the student population.
The question is whether an entire Greek system should be abolished when almost a quarter of the student body reportedly appreciates and supports it. If a house shows discriminatory behavior, it can be approached like any other part of the university. These brotherhoods and sororities are primarily voluntary associations supported by each of these students. Even if some students do not endorse or even approve the system, these students do. It's an associative decision tied to their values. Rather than forcing all other parts of the university to confirm the views of these opposing students, the university should allow them to form associations that speak to their own values and interests.