Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations of college students. Many of these organizations are located in brownstones in and around frat row.
Columbia traditionally had a very low-profile frat scene, with Greek life playing relatively little role in student life, with participation hovering around 10%. Since 2006, however, participation has exploded and nearly doubled to closer to 20%. This has perhaps been the outcome of Columbia's alleged "War on Fun." There is of course a delicious irony here, in that Columbia has consciously killed off its dorm social scene in favor of a fraternity social scene. The increasingly expensive/lame bar scene in Morningside Heights and increased NYPD crackdowns on underage drinking, once rare, might also have something to do with the trend.
Barnard did not formally recognize any Greek organizations, with the SGA claiming that the "discriminatory" admissions policies and membership dues requirements place Greek organizations at odd with Barnard's student government charter, until 2010
Barnard students have historically joined Columbia chapters of sororities. As a result of the boom in Greek life popularity, the Intergreek Council approached SGA to seek formal recognition. When SGA demurred, CCSC, ESC, and GSSC pressured Barnard's SGA to repeal their decision. In the end, a compromise was reached wherein SGA would fund a lump sum to Greek life (roughly $1000, which represents about 10% of the IGC budget). However, this situation is still considered unsatisfactory by many in CC and SEAS, since a disproportionate amount of their student life fees are going to support Barnard students in sororities.
- New alcohol policy pleases Columbia’s Greeks, Columbia Spectator, 9 December 2009
- Greek life interest booms, Columbia Spectator, 1 March 2010
- No new recognition for Greek life at BC, Columbia Spectator, 6 April 2010
- Greek life considers BC participation cap, Columbia Spectator, 26 April 2010
- Barnard funding for sororities, but not recognition, Columbia Spectator, 27 April 2010
- F@CU Makes It Rain, Bwog, 20 June 2010 - See especially discussion in comments about the politicking between the Columbia student councils and Barnard SGA over funding and student participation in Greek Life.