SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - 29

FEATURE ARTICLES
The output of Greek Row, in both how it recruits and selects members, and ultimately the members themselves,
served as the emotional and metaphysical structure reinforcing the impermanence of non-white collegiate
populations. He states this importance, without a measure of exaggeration, because it highlights the
pervasiveness of systemic and institutionalized racism that still exist on campuses. It actively and passively
allows a " segment of the population to act in a discriminatory manner between the ages of eighteen and twentyone, "
and thereby allows their actions to be codified once they reach adulthood.
Just when I thought I would never get rid of the shock on my face, Ross connects it even further, this time to
affirmative action policies & historical homage. He does not hold any punches:
" There's a notion that today's white millennials are somehow more immune from campus racism because of
a generational shift toward greater racial tolerance. That is inaccurate. These white millennials were taught
by their Gen X parents, who for the most part, engaged in the same behavior, just as their Baby Boomer
parents did. If the [white Greek] system is filled with legacies, meaning the sons and daughters of [white
fraternity and sorority] members, it's not hard to surmise that they're learning all the traditions, including
the racist ones. So the Tau Kappa Epsilon racist song of 1963 is connected to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon racist
song of 2015. The ghetto parties of the 1980s would be the same ghetto parties of the 2000s. So to the
question, 'where did all of these racist incidents come from?', the answer has to be, 'they never, ever stopped
in the first place' " .
WHEW.
He absolutely levels the discourse around the renaming of campus buildings (whether for confederate heroes, or
other equally terrible people) with one simple reality: " The question of why Black students should have to accept
Jim Crow on campuses that publicly state that they were nondiscriminatory transitioned to the question of why
Black students should have to live in a segregated America in the first place. The American college space wasn't
free as long as America wasn't free. The era of gradualism is over when it comes to white campus racism, and
colleges and universities need to understand that. "
I think that I could continue to relate this book to you forever, it shook me that much. But I can't. Instead, when
I thought about how this book relates and connects to the work we do within residential communities, and why
this telling of collegiate history is important, I leave you with what I consider to be his most salient connective
tissue: how we frame home and community on our campuses, passively and actively.
Ross writes: " It can be argued that white privilege is an inherent and inevitable manifestation of white
supremacy, and on college campuses, it thrives in environments where whiteness goes unchallenged. White
fraternities and sororities, through their housing system and extensive alumni associations, don't have the
same transitory relationship with their schools as most students. " Ross elaborates: " You may remember great
times in a residence hall, but the residence hall itself isn't created to make you feel as though it's your residence
hall. It's different with the fraternity and sorority house. There's permanence to their relationships, both for
individuals and the university, which includes passing down the same views from generation to generation " . But
for the fraternity house, " the house itself is the embodiment of tradition, the idea that things may change at the
university, but not too much " .
Read the book, please.
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Contents
SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - 1
SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - Contents
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