Sorority hosted house parties could aid in sexual assault prevention

Amy Schuly, Contributing Writer

The following is an opinion article, and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo

Editor’s note: The author is a member of a Greek organization at Tulane

Multiple studies have shown that fraternity men are more likely than non-Greek men to sexually assault women at colleges and universities. These same studies show that fraternity men are more likely than non-fraternity men to adhere to the beliefs surrounding “rape culture” such as traditional gender roles, aggression towards women and hyper-masculinity. The 2007 “Campus Sexual Assault Study” financed by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that women who frequently attended fraternity parties were more likely to be sexually assaulted. 

Weekend partying at Tulane typically revolves around the nearby college bars and fraternity house parties because of Greek housing’s proximity to campus. A way to potentially reduce sexual assault on college campuses would be to give sororities more control over the party scene by allowing them to throw house parties that could compete with fraternity house parties.

Highly cited statistics from the same 2007 study state that one in four college women will be sexually assaulted before graduation. Further, several rape myths surrounding sexual assault permeate college campuses and are reinforced by the fraternity party scene. For example, the myth that women are more likely to be assaulted by a stranger than by a friend or acquaintance reinforces the belief that fraternity parties are safe spaces.  

All 26 sororities in the National Panhellenic Council have opted to adopt a policy banning alcohol from sorority houses. Proponents of this policy argue that, beyond lowering the cost of insurance, the alcohol ban makes sense because most college students are underage. Opponents argue that the ban is a form of structural sexism grounded in traditional beliefs about womanly conduct.

We can’t tell college kids to stop partying. Urging women to change their behavior is just a form of victim blaming, and implementing policies such as “sober hosting” at fraternity parties is obviously not working. Sorority house parties would create alternate party spaces at colleges where both non-sorority women and women involved in Greek life could feel safer.

College campuses are in desperate need of female-dominated spaces centered around socializing and having fun. While it is important to remember that sorority house parties would by no means eliminate sexual assault on campus and that school administrations must hold perpetrators accountable, allowing an alternative to the current party scene would be a welcomed tool in the battle against sexual assault. 

Amy Schully is a senior at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]