A post in Duke Memes for Gothicc Teens Tuesday morning showed a large print banner featuring a rebranded Uncle Sam satirically recruiting for Greek life.
One was hung underneath a staircase in the Brodhead Center. The white banner depicts a colorful image of Uncle Sam pointing to his viewers with the caption “I want you to help perpetuate sexism and racism at Duke! #RushGreekToday.”
A different photo obtained by The Chronicle depicted what appeared to be a smaller fabric poster with the same image accompanied by a note, cropped mostly off in the photo, that appeared to say that the poster was an art piece.
Emilie Dye, director of student engagement for Fraternity and Sorority Life, wrote in an email that the posters had been removed. The banner had not been “through proper Duke [University Center Activities and Events] banner procedures to be approved [and] hung," Dye wrote, so UCAE staff removed it.
“Since we do not know who made and posted them, there is not much more that we can do at this time,” Dye wrote Tuesday afternoon. “I'd certainly welcome conversations with the individuals that did [it], though, to learn more about their motives.”
Senior Matthew Conley, president of the Interfraternity Council, acknowledged that there are problematic aspects of Greek life in a message to The Chronicle.
"I encourage the folks who made the posters to reach out to us to discuss their ideas about Greek life," he wrote. "We have acknowledged that problems exist in our community, and we've spent a lot of time this academic year meeting with professionals and students to discuss them."
Although he did not speculate what effect this could have on recruitment, Conley added that he hopes the signs will lead students to "closely consider the ideals" of organizations they are rushing.
About 34 percent of Duke students are members of Greek life, according to the Duke Student Affairs website.
Duke’s Greek life recruitment process extends for approximately the first two weeks of the Spring semester. The process is slightly different between Women’s Panhellenic Recruitment and the Interfraternity Council’s Recruitment. For men who go through the recruitment process, there are three selective rounds.
“Women's Panhellenic Recruitment is comprised of four rounds where potential new members visit all the chapters,” the website says. “Through a process of mutual selection, students narrow their choices each round until they finally select a sorority following the last night.”
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