Fraternities Abolished From Amherst Campus
Fraternities will cease to exist on the Amherst College campus after June 30, because of a recent decision by the Amherst Board of Trustees.
An ad hoc committee's report to the board stated, "we believe finally that Amherst as a residential college can be better without fraternities than it can be with them."
According to Amherst spokesman Terry Allen, this marked the eighth time the board had considered dissolving the fraternities since 1945. Allen citedantisocial behavior and rowdyism associated as causes for the committee's investigation.
The decision comes in the wake of much student protest Interfraternity Council (II-C) President Hal Ball termed the spate of unrest "not a fraternity protest, but a student protest."
Ball added that "even students who did not belong to frats were having their social life decided for them, because people who don't belong to frats still rely on them for their social life."
A fast became the centerpiece of the protest, lasting two and a half days until the Board of Trustees agreed to meet with a council of students.
Sophomore Katie Merrill, a member of Pi. Upsilon, said student reaction was surprisingly mild.
"I was expecting windows being broken and houses being burned down," she said Merrill added that the only major sign of student anger occurred during a five-minute food fight in the college's Fast Dining Hall.
To replace the social center which fraternities had provided, the college will build a campus center. Merrill said, although dates for construction have not been determined.
The college has also proposed limiting the number of students who live off campus in order to create a "new level of humanity and civility on campus."
On Monday, Feb. 22, Acting President Craig held a college-wide assembly to announce the board's decision. But according to Merrill, "he didn't know the answers to any of the students' questions and was very vague."
Merrill added that Craig was met by "pointed questions, as well as much booing and hissing," and "that he might as well not have called the assembly at all."
Ball felt that though the fraternity members would abide by the college's decision, "the fraternities will go on in purpose. There's just no way you can disband 100 people who live, eat and sleep together in two months."
As president of the IFC, Ball said he had worked at "calming the masses, for now." He concluded that "we're not racist, we're not sexist, we don't discriminate, and basically, we got screwed."