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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Why can’t we get into this house, too?

Why+can%E2%80%99t+we+get+into+this+house%2C+too%3F

By: Essence Buckman, staff writer

During Boys’ Bid Day weekend this past February, Kappa Sigma received some backlash from other students regarding entrance into their fraternity house. It is believed that only black men were being denied access into Kappa Sigma’s house.

To clear up any confusion on those rumors, Kappa Sigma’s president Omar Elmore ’19, states he received a phone call on the Saturday night of Boys’ Bid Day weekend from Kappa Sigma’s social chair regarding Campus Safety handling issues with Kappa Sigma’s sober party monitors (SPMs). Elmore was told that a female student on campus was allowed entry into Kappa Sig, however, the friend she brought with her was not. That friend was a black man who did not attend Wofford. The Wofford student was upset and apparently got into an argument with the SPMs, which is why Campus Safety was called to handle the situation.

“I heard that boys not in the fraternity and not on the guest list had a really hard time getting in unless they knew someone,” says Kiara Williams ’18. “And even when they did know someone, it was still difficult.”

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“I only heard a few rumors that some people were upset they couldn’t get into Kappa Sigma’s house,” Elmore says.

Both nights of Boys’ Bid Day weekend, Kappa Sigma had a criterion for access into their house, which was voted on in a prior meeting. They had a hard list: each member of the fraternity was allowed two guests, and all women were allowed to attend their party as well.

“The reasons we changed the rules was because every time Kappa Sigma had damage occur in the house, it was from a non-brother, male, who the members do not know,” Elmore says. “The decision had nothing to do with race, it was a financial decision.”

Each time damages occur in any fraternity house, that fraternity is responsible for the reparation payments, regardless of who is responsible.

The Greek Village is home to 11 houses, where five of those IFC houses are frequently open each fall and spring semester. When it comes to the weekend nights, students, whether Greek or not, are usually able to party hop to whichever house they please unless there is a hard list administered at a party. Access into the Greek Village requires a Wofford student to buy a sticker that they place on the back of their student ID. With this sticker, they can also bring one guest with them.

“In terms of stickers being purchased for the Greek Village, I understand that they want to make sure it’s mostly Wofford students coming in, but charging $25 and only selling them for a week in the first semester is ridiculous. It would be better if they were cheaper,” says Williams.

Additionally, this year students have been required to purchase tickets for both the fall and spring semester, as the initial fall stickers could be duplicated easily. Stickers bought this spring will be valid until the spring of next year.

Some students are asking then, if they have stickers, why are they and their friends still being excluded from certain houses?

According to Elmore, Greek life is exclusive, yet the school wants Greek life to be inclusive. He has heard of people having problems with access into certain houses, but is not aware of the other fraternities’ reasoning for limited access.

“I would personally never let any racial profiling by Kappa Sigma happen,” Elmore says. “I am weary of those things in response to not getting in.”

The goal is simply to be aware of who is being let into the house.

In response to being required to buy stickers, presidents of Greek organizations in the past came up with the idea of requiring stickers to be purchased. Every fraternity pays dues that contribute in hiring services from EPI security, but the sticker sales also pay for these services. When students purchase stickers, they are given a sheet with rules and regulation of the Greek Village, with the expectation to comply.

“Greek organizations place risk management at the top of their priorities when hosting social events, especially if alcohol is involved,” says Matt Nocella ’18, member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “The responsibility of selective guest enforcement unfortunately falls to the organization members, but it is never meant to be discriminatory or exclusive.”

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