- The Unique Challenges of the Coming Year(s)
- Following Defeats in Court, Harvard Abandons Its Anti-Fraternity and Sorority Policy
- Two Good Zoning Decisions – Newark Delaware Changes Course
- Positive Development in Pennsylvania Zoning Case
- Five Questions For Fall 2020
- California Court Of Appeal Holds That Sorority Members Do Not Owe A Duty In A Negligence Case Based On Their Agreement To Abide By University Risk Management Policies And Protocols
- More Guilty Pleas in Ohio University Hazing Death
- Lawsuit Over Max Gruver’s Death Will Continue Against LSU
- In Tennessee, Hazing Victims Might Be Liable for Their Own Injuries
- New Title IX Regulations: What Do They Mean for Greek Life?
Newsletter > July 2020 > "The Unique Challenges of the Coming Year(s)"
The Unique Challenges of the Coming Year(s)
Tim Burke, Fraternal Law Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org
The upcoming academic year may be the most challenging in the history of collegiate fraternal organizations!
Some campuses may not open, at least not in the traditional sense. Those that do may not remain open if COVID-19 continues to spike in some places or returns with a vengeance in others.
And the broad calls from active members and others for racial justice, increased diversity, and an examination of each organization’s history presents an equally important and hopefully a longer lasting challenge.
Both need to be addressed with care, a willingness to change and little time to spare.
COVID demands compliance with the directions of the CDC and state and local regulatory officials, an emphasis on cleanliness and sanitary conditions in chapter houses unlike anything in the past, social distancing, masks and a heavy dose of common sense (which was totally lacking at this year’s spring break beach parties). More meetings, even recruitment, will need to be done on the internet. Creativity and flexibility, exercised appropriately, will be necessary.
As hard as it may be to address COVID in the coming academic year, there is reason to hope that science will find real scientific and medical solutions to the pandemic in the relatively near term.
However, there is no drug or vaccine that will create racial justice. It will take as serious of a commitment as the COVID response, but one that must last longer and require a greater willingness to understand one another and effect change.
Here again the internet will be a powerful tool. It is almost instantly able to spread the word on injustices. In recent weeks many national and international sorority and fraternity headquarters have seen how quickly and effectively a determined group of members can call for change.
But social media and the internet is a double-edged sword. Inappropriate racist comments, even if intended by the writer as satiric comedy, can cost the writer his or her job, prospects for a new job, or membership in an organization they love. Similarly, unfair or inaccurate claims, too often done anonymously, can do enormous damage to someone’s reputation.
History cannot be changed. How history is viewed or celebrated can be. More critically is the future. Fraternal leaders may not be able to control the future of COVID, but they can impact the future of their organizations when it comes to issues of diversity and racial and social justice. Joining in addressing that challenge fits well within the broad civic and social purposes to which virtually every Greek organization ascribes.