Politics & Policy

University Forcing its Fraternities to Admit Women to Ensure Equality

Both genders must be “equally represented” in leadership positions.

Wesleyan University in Connecticut has decided to force all of its fraternities to become coed within three years because all-male fraternities are both dangerous and unfair to women.

The new rules will require all Greek organizations to have both male and female members and have both genders be “well represented” in leadership positions in order to qualify for campus housing and meeting spaces.

University president Michael Roth and board chairman Joshua Boger announced the decision in a letter on Monday.

“Although this change does not affect nonresidential organizations, we are hopeful that groups across the University will continue to work together to create a more inclusive, equitable and safer campus,” the letter stated.

But Peter Smithhisler, the chief executive of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, said the policy violates freedom of association and freedom of speech.

“It is essential that fraternities be allowed to decide for themselves if they wish to offer co-ed membership,” said Smithhisler, whose group represents 74 male fraternities.

A month ago, Wesleyan shut down the Beta Theta Pi fraternity after a freshman girl was seriously hurt after falling from a window at one of its parties.

Another Connecticut school, Trinity College, started making its fraternities coeducational in 2012.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

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