In the past month, hundreds of students have dropped out of their fraternities and sororities at Vanderbilt University. They have gathered, digitally, using group-run Instagram activist pages. They have written searing op-eds condemning their own organizations for the student newspaper, The Vanderbilt Hustler.

And they have petitioned the administration to ban Greek organizations from campus.

The mass action, which has taken place while students have been away from the Nashville campus for the summer and isolated because of the pandemic, has been accelerated by a handful of racist incidents that have been surfaced in videos and on social media.

But students said their real reasons have deeper roots: that Greek life is exclusionary, racist and misogynist, as well as resistant to reform because of the hierarchical nature of the national Greek organizations, which control local chapters.