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Fraternities Rape Culture

This photo of Slippery Rock University fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, was taken several years ago. The picture recently went viral after a similar picture from Old Dominion caused controversy Photo from

Welcome Week on the campus of Old Dominion University just got a little less fun – The national office for Sigma Nu fraternity has suspended all activities for the ODU chapter because of some suggestive signs they hung from their house. So, do they have a right to the banners under their freedom of speech rights? Or is it fostering a rape culture?

From a legal standpoint, they are protected by the First Amendment. But the catch is, they don’t have a right to be a fraternity – that is a privilege bestowed by the university that can be taken away. This could be a teaching moment –teaching young men and women to be responsible, respectful and honorable. 

While the signs may have been intended as a joke, and might have been seen as such in the eyes of other fraternities, sororities, and universities, the bigger issue is what message this is sending, regardless of how it is perceived.  The stats are staggering: 1 in 4 college women, approximately 25 %, are raped or attempted to be raped or threatened by rape – and 70% of that happens on a date

Some may say, boys will be boys, and there certainly may be other factors, such as alcohol consumption or fraternity policies, that come into play. But can these signs – these attitudes – lead to something more? 

We don’t need another tragic rape report to find out. What we need is a more comprehensive approach than just banning fraternities – at the heart of this solution is teaching young college students the realities and the consequences of their attitudes and actions before the tragedy of mistakes and misjudgment happen.

Fraternities & Rape Culture 

A photo of a Slippery Rock University fraternity posing in front of a sign reading, “Thank you fathers for your freshman daughters” recently went viral on several websites, some calling it an example of rape culture.
Old Dominion University’s Sigma Nu fraternity was suspended in August for hanging similar signs off of their fraternity house, one of the signs designated the house as a “freshman daughter drop off.” 
In an act of protest at Sigma Nu’s suspension, published the photo of SRU’s Sigma Tau Gamma in front of their fraternity house at 129 Kiester Rd. Total Frat Move also published similar photos from fraternities at other schools, the author asking “Can people not take a joke anymore?”
The photo was then used by the Huffington Post in an article entitled “It’s Not Just ODU Students Putting Up Offensive Signs About Freshman Girls.” Additionally, the Sig Tau photo was used by the website, saying that the banners “Reveal fraternity rape culture at its worst.”
When the photo wasn’t identified in any of the websites as being from SRU, but some current and former students recognized the house and shared the articles on Facebook.
Executive director of public affairs, Rita Abent, said that the story is old, and no longer relevant because the incident was quickly remedied.
“[The photo] keeps circulating on the Internet…because people see it and without knowing the backstory, push it out to their friends, who then continue the cycle,” she said.
The photo was taken several years ago, and assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, and supervisor of Greek affairs, N. Charles Judge, asked the fraternity to permanently take down the sign at the time. When the photo resurfaced, Judge spoke with the fraternity, and contacted the national office.
“[Everyone] was mortified,” Abent said. “This is a prime example of why people need to be concerned when they post material on the Internet. It just never goes away.”
Sigma Tau Gamma did not respond to requests for a quote on the topic. 

Old photo of SRU fraternity goes viral as an example of rape culture Janelle Wilson September 3, 2015

How 'What Do You Mean' Promotes Rape Cutlure 

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