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Newsletter > November 2014 > "Oregon Committee Recommends Suspending Expansion"
Oregon Committee Recommends Suspending Expansion
Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, email@example.com
A task force at the University of Oregon formed to review campus sexual assault policies issued a report urging the administration to “immediately suspend plans to expand fraternity and sorority life.” The Twenty Students Per Week committee, named for the amount of attempted sexual assaults at the university, issued its report on October 22, 2014. The committee also recommended further researching the impact of fraternity and sorority life on sexual assault and forming a fraternity and sorority life sexual assault task force. The Interim University President announced that he is reviewing the recommendations and will wait at least one month to decide how to proceed.
The committee report cited “numerous high-profile sexual assault cases… [that] have brought national attention to the relationship between Greek life and sexual violence.” The report also cited scholarship from J.D. Foubert, who concluded that “fraternity men are more likely to commit rape than other college men,” and also statistics from the University of Oregon detailing that sorority women were more likely to be victims of sexual assault than their non-Greek classmates.
A recommendation of this nature raises some interesting issues. Are fraternities and sororities critical to curbing sexual assaults on university campuses? Absolutely. Is it wise for a university to single fraternities and sororities like this? Probably not. The recent stories about cultures of hazing and sexual assault in university bands and athletic teams demonstrate that that this epidemic runs far deeper than Greek life. There are also First Amendment freedom of association issues involved when a public university examines this issue. Fraternal Law will continue to follow this situation as it unfolds at the University of Oregon.