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Students Aren’t Just Leaving Greek Life. They Want to End It.

When Zena Abro came to the University of Richmond in 2018, she wasn’t excited about the idea of joining a sorority. She did it only because her friends joined, and she didn’t want to feel left out on a campus where more than half of undergraduate women are in sororities.

From the get-go, Abro, who is Asian American, felt disconnected from Pi Beta Phi. Older students didn’t seem as enthusiastic about getting to know her, which made her feel less welcome, she said, and the pressure to party in Greek life wasn’t her thing. In May, after the end of her sophomore year, she realized the dissonance was serious.

Several days after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed in police custody, Pi Beta Phi leaders penned what Abro felt was a meaningless, poorly worded statement acknowledging police brutality. She stepped in and helped draft a better version, but it wasn’t published until nearly two weeks after Floyd’s death. She took that as a sign that her sorority didn’t understand the gravity and importance of the moment.

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