The Abolish Greek life movement that has been sweeping across the country has made its way to Tech.
Inspired by the Abolish Greek life Movement at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, which has received national attention, students at Tech have now formed their own coalition on the matter.
According to “The War on Frats” published in The New York Times, the Abolish Greek life movement at Vanderbilt University has been one of the largest and most effective in the United States. Nearly 200 students at Vanderbilt have chosen to disassociate from their Greek organization according to NBC News. Since disassociating, many of the students have also turned to activism and are openly speaking out against their specific organization.
Abolish Greek Life was inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement and was sparked at the death of George Floyd back in May 2020. Inclusion has been the main topic of the Abolish Greek Life movement although it has since evolved to being unique to every university.
On Aug. 26, 2020 shortly after students made their way back to campus for the Fall semester, an instagram page by the username @abolishtntechgreeklife made its debut.
After circulating around campus for more than a month the page has now come to 131 followers as of October 2, 2020. With nearly 50 posts, the instagram trends anonymously submitted stories featuring topics of alleged racism, hazing, drug use and bullying.
Alongside the stories posted on the Instagram is a disclaimer that also features statistics from The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center and also features resources to students regarding sexual assault on campus.
Abolish TN Tech Greek Life is a group of students that has goals beyond just abolishing the Greek organizations on campus. The goal of the group that represents the movement is to bring the underlying issues they see within Greek life to light. Topics such as racism, sexism, discipline and corruption that is believed to be happening here on campus.
The group started the Instagram page to create a platform for victims which relate back to Greek life. Included in the bio of the page is a link to a google form which can be filled out completely anonymous. The purpose of this is to safely allow people to share their alleged experience with a Greek Life organization on campus.
The Instagram page has been met with controversy across Tech campus. Members of Greek life on campus have in turn, become active in speaking out against the Abolish Greek Life Movement.
“As a former president of PhiDelt, I have met and worked with other fraternities and made several friends outside of my own. I do not personally know anyone that would sit back and let any of those situations happen without addressing it or ratting someone out. Why? Because that’s just the culture of Tech’s Greek Life,” said past Phi Delta Theta president, Austin Rider.
“These are real issues anywhere. It would be ignorant to say these things do not occur in Cookeville and on campus. There is a real problem with people not being held accountable for their actions, whether in Greek life or not. The university needs to crack down on individuals who are using racist rhetoric, hazing, or assaulting anyone.” Jonah Stout, Tau Kappa Epsilon president said, when asked if he believes these issues are real at Tech.
To sign the petition in support of the Abolish Greek Life movement visit change.org. Contact the Tennessee Tech Campus Police at (931) 372-3234 and Tennessee Tech Counseling Center at (931)-372-3331 for assistance.