I'm a sorority member at UC Santa Barbara, and I think Middlebury College's plan to force fraternities to become co-ed is off-target. I have seen the benefits of a single-sex organization. The pressure of the opposite sex, as we all know, can be distracting; thus I feel that making fraternities co-ed would pose a threat to their goal of brotherhood.
If they have to accept women, that is forced friendship. Sexism is a universal problem--it's not going to be changed by changing the structure of the Greek system.
At UCSB, the Greek system has addressed the issue of discrimination head-on. Each house has educational programs, and the system as a whole has committees such as Greeks against rape. We also work closely with Status of Women, a committee of our associated students.
In addition, sororities and fraternities have many avenues in which to work together. And to top it off, fraternities are aware that sexist behavior will lead to the revoking of their national charter. Thus, our system goes to show that there are positive ways to address sexism without having to change the traditional structure. I suggest Middlebury think twice before it makes the mistake of forcing fraternities to go co-ed. It won't solve a thing; in fact, it will probably make men resent women more.
LESLEY KEAGLE, Goleta