Coeducation and Social Initiative are not Analogous

To the Editor:

I was disappointed to read Janelle Ruley’s naive comparison of coeducation to the elimination of Greek life on campus. While the analogy is novel for illustrating the potential for change on campus (so, too, would be a remembrance of the days when the New Hampshire drinking age was 18), it trivializes the profound difference between coeducation and Ms. Ruley’s proposed new campus order.

Whereas the inclusion of women in the Dartmouth student body was an intrinsically equalizing policy (in that it provided a choice for women where none had existed), the elimination of Greek houses could benefit equality only by effect (by eliminating the discriminatory evils of the system), a dubious proposition, particularly when one considers that women comprise a substantial portion of the Greek system. On its face, Ruley’s plan precludes free choice.

Admittedly, the choice presently in question is by no means as powerful as the decision to pursue an education, but its presence demonstrates the unfortunate tendency of certain campus leaders to elevate social engineering to a struggle against oppression. It is not.

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