We strongly disagree with and do not accept Duke University’s decision to restrict first-year students from joining fraternities or sororities until their sophomore year that was recommended by the Next Gen Living & Learning 2.0 Committee. Ironically, first-year students are encouraged and permitted to join any other student organization or intercollegiate athletic teams on campus. We are further concerned that the university is using COVID-19 as part of their justification for implementing this inequitable application of student policy. We believe in Duke students and their right to make decisions for themselves and encourage Duke University to do the same. On hundreds of other campuses this fall, students have successfully and safely engaged in fraternity/sorority recruitment and new member education. Duke students are more than capable of doing the same.
Students should have the opportunity to join any organization at the time that they feel is best for them. Research shows fraternities/sororities play an integral role in helping new students successfully transition to college life. A successful fraternity/sorority experience provides students with a sense of community and a support network—which COVID-19 has shown is critical to positive mental health. And for most students, fraternity/sorority membership leads to higher retention rates and higher graduation rates.
We stand ready to support Duke students and seek to work with the University to collaboratively identify solutions that support and enhance the development of students.
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Campus Support contact:
Senior Vice President of Campus Operations
Chief Communication Officer