Education

Duke sororities will no longer hold parties with all-male fraternities, citing concerns over sexual assault

Posted October 14, 2020 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2020 1:39 p.m. EDT

— Duke University sororities will no longer hold parties with all-male fraternities on campus in an effort to focus on "women's empowerment," the university Panhellenic Association announced on Instagram.

The Greek council voted to end "mixers," exclusive parties that pair sororities with all-male organizations.

The council said the women expressed concerns about sexual assault and "environments that fuel unsafe gender power dynamics" at the mixers on campus. At the parties, the council said there was a "social hierarchy that objectifies women."

There are more than 6,500 undergraduate students at Duke, and over 2,000 of them participate in the campus' Greek life.

The Panhellenic Association oversees 10 women sororities on campus. There are other sororities at Duke's campus not under the umbrella of the Panhellenic Association. Historically black sororities fall under the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Sororities for Latinx students, Asian-interest students and Native American students are governed by the Multicultural Greek Council.

Any sorority that does host a party with a fraternity on campus will be punished and put on "social probation," the Duke Chronicle student newspaper reports.

Forty-eight percent of undergraduate Duke women said in a 2018 survey that they have been sexually assaulted on campus, according to an official university document uploaded by the Chronicle.

Back in August, the council released a statement about sexual assault accountability.

The council said that the executive board "has seen an overwhelming number of disturbing accounts of our community's failure to protect our members against sexual assault and hold our organizations responsible."

To reduce sexual violence on campus, the council plans to launch a "reporting is supporting" campaign in conjunction with the university's office of student conduct.

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