Some Students Push Back As Amherst College Bans ‘Underground Frats’

Amherst College says so-called underground fraternities are now banned. The groups, which operate off-campus, formed after the school officially prohibited fraternities and sororities 30 years ago.

Those breaking the revised ban will face an honor code violation.

Suzanne Coffey is chief student affairs officer at the college. We asked her how the new policy will distinguish between permissible off-campus activities like – say – the Rotary Club, and underground fraternities.

Listen to Susan Kaplan’s interview with Coffey by clicking the audio player above. 

That question of timing is a major concern raised by students protesting the decision on campus today, including Jasjaap Sidhu.

“There’s a week left of classes and finals. Everybody’s very stressed, everybody’s overwhelmed, and it’s just so tough to mobilize and organize and push back against a decision like this. The trustees made a massive sweeping reform of our lives on our campus without asking anybody.”

Sidhu is in one of the so-called underground fraternities, Delta Kappa Epsilon.

New England Public Radio’s Jill Kaufman contributed to this report.