Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

The Fight For Sororities

Fraternity’s little sisters 

The only forms of women organizations on the social scene were “fraternity little sisters”. Women were “chosen” by fraternity brothers to be the female counterpart of each fraternity. These women acted as personal cheerleaders of the fraternities and were required to be loyal individuals. The little sisters were not formally acknowledged by the university and many issues surrounding sexual harassment and assault arose from this social practice.

Article "Lack of Student Interest, Land Prevent UR Sororities"

 

Director of student activities, Max Vest, believed that there is a lack of student interest when it came to sororities at the University of Richmond. Dean of Westhampton College, Stephanie Bennett, stated that she prefered sororities to “the little sister's program of fraternities,” and already has goals in mind if sororities were to appear on campus.

Westhampton women advocating for sororities

As the fraternity’s little sisters program was controversial, many individuals turned to different avenues to create a more diverse social scene. The fight for bringing sororities on campus began with Westhampton College women advocating for a social scene away from fraternity parties. Groups such as W.I.S.E. [Women Involved in Sorority Establishment] worked to persuade students in favor of sororities and communicate with administrators, faculty, and the Board of Trustees about the organization of such institutions.

University of Richmond students were asked the question, “How would you feel about sororities at UR?” Students from both Westhampton College and Richmond College offer their opinions on the pros and cons of having a new section of Greek Life potentially moving to campus.

Arguments for both “Yes, sororities should be on the University of Richmond campus,” and, “No, sororities should not be on the University of Richmond campus,” are provided for readers who may be confused or unsure about the issue.

Pros (those fighting to bring sororities to campus {majority students})

Those in favor of bringing sororities to campus created student groups which persistently created polls, questionnaires, and forums in order to increase interest in the matter. Westhampton students believed that organizations like fraternities in Richmond College provided enough argument for the establishment of sororities in Westhampton College.

Cons (those fighting against bringing sororities to campus {a lot of faculty, staff, and administrators})

The initial efforts to increase student interest failed as the majority of Westhampton students disliked the idea of creating even more cliques on campus. The negative reputation that fraternities established on campus amongst faculty further encouraged students to vote against bringing sororities to Westhampton College.

The Fight For Sororities