Young America's Foundation

Join Our Email List

  • New Guard Inner
  • Don't Tread on Frats

    5/13/2014 10:24:29 AM Posted by Patrick Coyle

    FratsAmherst College is finally teaching its students about individual liberty and the dangers of big government, although the lessons aren't being taught in the classroom.

    On Tuesday, Amherst announced a resolution banning all student associations with "fraternity-like organizations" prompting significant student pushback. The announcement came in the midst of final exams, yet students have organized civil demonstrations voicing their opposition to both the Trustees' decision and to how that decision was reached. Students are collecting signatures and handing out stickers that read "Student Life = Student Voice." Last night, the fraternities parodied the new regulations set to take effect in July with a 70s themed "Arts-n-Crafts social gathering" complete with a live band, black lights, florescent paint, and an open bar. Students have also hung pirate and 'Don't Tread on Me' flags from their windows.

    Amherst students-even staunch progressives-are getting a taste of progressivism and it's not as sweet as their professors have led them to believe. One vehemently liberal writer for the student paper said, "this ruling doesn't sufficiently deal with the problems of Amherst's culture. It's not just fraternities, it's not just athletics teams, and to think about just one of those groups is scapegoating and creating superficial change."

    The ban came just a week after the college was designated under investigation by the Obama administration for issues pertaining to sexual violence; yet, the college claims the ban was instead a response to suggestions made last year by the college's Sexual Misconduct Oversight Committee. Either way, the decision scapegoats fraternities even though they account for a mere 5 percent of the student body.

    To be clear: I'm not a member of a frat nor would I ever rush one. In fact, I strongly believe there are legitimate and important criticisms to be made about aspects of Greek life. But, that does not mean students should be barred from Greek life much less prevented from having a say in the decision to do so.

    Suzanne Coffey, who previously served as the college's Athletic Director, became the Chief Student Affairs Officer earlier this year in a strange sequence of events of which students have yet to receive a legitimate explanation. When asked about the decision to exclude student input in her first big decision, she said, "I would say back to the students, you're right, your voice wasn't included…It's a fair criticism, but that's the way it is at this point."

    Thomas Jefferson warned, "a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." Those who would argue for a big centralized government should take this as a cautionary tale. If a college administration can tune out its students' voice on important matter, if it can curtail its students' freedom of association, and if it can lay blame for communal problems to a minority group, then imagine what a big, unrestrained central government of the world's largest economy and strongest military could do.

    Robert Lucido is a conservative activist at Amherst College

    • Readers' Comments

    • Last night, the fraternities parodied the new regulations set to take effect in July with a 70s themed "Arts-n-Crafts social gathering" complete with a live band, black lights, florescent paint, and an open bar. What you're referring to is the 1960s "Happening" event that is put on by the students of an official Amherst course on the culture of 1960s. It was not a fraternity event.
      Posted by on 05/14/2014
    • SqwbRp Thanks a lot for the blog post.Much thanks again. Awesome.
      Posted by 681686 on 07/18/2014
    • 8sSKhl A round of applause for your article post.Really thank you! Fantastic.
      Posted by 28085 on 08/05/2014
    • 5bEUxE Fantastic blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.
      Posted by 13611 on 08/05/2014
    Leave a comment
Copyright 2015 Young America's Foundation | 11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 600, Reston, VA 20191-1556 | Ph. 1.800.USA.1776 | Fax 703.318.9122 | |