Five fraternity lodges opened last Friday night, a later opening date than in previous years. The reason for the late opening date is 90 percent of each fraternity had to attend Title IX training for them to have guests at their lodges.
The five lodges that opened were the Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Theta Chi.
The fraternities will be enforcing stricter registration at their lodges this year to keep track of all the guests, said Will Cook, president of KA. The Title IX training is "meant to make sure the guests and brothers are safe and avoid any misunderstandings about sexual intent, hazing, bullying, etc." Cook said.
Title IX is a large law based on gender equality, and the fraternities' specific Title IX component focused on bystander awareness.
"This course centers around informing fraternity men what it means to be accountable for your fellow brothers and guests," Cook said. A fraternity member must be able to identify when a brother or a guest is too intoxicated to be at the party.
The reason that the training was mandatory for all fraternity members was their large role in the social scene on campus, Cook said.
Chip Parkhurst, another member of Greek life, said that although he thought the information was important to know about, he "didn't think they should have had to attend because he learned all of the information during freshman orientation."
Dylan Southall is not a fraternity member, but said that he spent much of his time with Sigma Chi brothers and said, "The belief behind training fraternity members exclusively is that they are in a position of power when in their own lodge." However, he said he found that when he was at the lodge, he must adhere to the rules of the brothers as well.
"All in all, I think that the message that Title IX training conveys should not be targeted to one group of men for the sole reason of affiliation," Southall said. "If the safety of our Westhampton College classmates is the priority, then training should be available for all men."
Contact reporter Mary Rossiter at firstname.lastname@example.org