The Sun is opposed to this new idea, as well as the existing national policies that require live-in advisors in sororities — an outdated policy from a time in which sexism dictated laws about female cohabitants. Instating a policy requiring live-in advisors in all chapters is not a step toward equality, but rather a push in the wrong direction. This would not be the right approach to the problems in the Greek system.
We think that this change would go too far. The vast majority of Cornell students are adults, legally and developmentally. Almost any student is capable of renting an apartment or house in Collegetown without necessary supervision, and all non-freshman students may opt out of campus housing if they wish. By recommending that Cornell require fraternities to have live-in advisors, the University is allowing the behavior of a few individuals to affect the autonomy of the majority. An overwhelming number of Cornell fraternity and sorority members are exemplary members of our community; a large part of the fraternity or sorority experience comes from learning to live together and taking responsibility for a chapter.
Fraternities and sororities are not dormitories, even if the University owns many Greek chapter houses. They are student organizations founded on the idea of self-governance and responsibility for their collective actions. If a chapter is found to have broken an agreed-upon University rule that reflects common-sense safety as well as the law, the University can reasonably wish to make their recognition contingent upon the completion of probationary procedures, including a temporary live-in advisor — which was the RARE committee’s initial proposal. If, however, the chapter upholds all of the rules currently in place, there is no reason to effectively punish a house by inserting an advisor.
This proposed policy change reflects the worst of the University’s reactionary instincts. In regard to live-in advisors, a proposal that would drastically alter the living situation of thousands of students in years to come, Cornell must consider the effect of students being forced to live with a constant reminder that the University does not view them and their peers as adults.