As the list of Greek chapters de-chartered at Binghamton University grows longer, Greek-affiliated students are beginning to think more proactively: “Why don’t we just de-charter ourselves, disaffiliate and move off campus?”
Even the Fraternity and Sorority Coalition recognized that the University needs to do more to incentivize campus recognition. And therein lies a mutual problem. The fraternities and sororities don’t want to have to follow every University regulation; the University must go easy in order to avoid seeming overbearing.
Right now, the University makes threats of de-chartering to keep the organizations in line. While we should point out that without a charter many of the aspects of Greek Life that its members tout as advantages of the organizations — philanthropy, community service, brotherhood and alumni connections — no longer exist, according to the coalition’s report at least, many organizations think that getting de-chartered is a good thing. After all, they would finally be able to do whatever they wanted with little fear of repercussions.
But what if Binghamton took a page out of the playbooks of many other universities and built a “frat row?”
They could do it Downtown — a pipe dream, we know — which would establish a larger University presence and help revitalize the area. Binghamton’s New York State University Police would have jurisdiction over that block, providing the University with greater oversight. It would be safer for students seeking out parties, too, since they would all be in close proximity and out of the way of the sketchier parts of Binghamton. Members of Greek Life would finally feel that they have a place at this University, and the school would have the credible threat of taking away an organization’s house because of policy violations, which, for at least some organizations, would be a more effective punishment than simply taking away recognition.
This project would cost money, though. We expect that some of the national organizations would be more than happy to step in to improve their visibility, recognition and prestige on this campus. The University could also charge rent, and like the dormitories, the project should be required to be revenue neutral.
We should also point out that some organizations may not be willing to move into this safer and more legitimate housing and there is no way for the University to build enough housing for the 50+ recognized Greek organizations. This could create controversies in terms of allotment. But hey, while they’re at it, we wouldn’t mind a Pipe Dream house.