Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the University of Oklahoma
Fraternities Gone Wild
This year has not been a flattering one for the Greek life across the United States. From scorching reviews of sexual assault to journalistic reviews of a culture of racism and sexism, it seems fraternity life is not quite as glamorous as it once was. Just this past month the University of Oklahoma was seen publicly apologizing for the racist chanting of one chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. As is typical with media coverage, once one story breaks many voices will come forward echoing the sentiments in the tone of their own personal experiences. This was certainly the case after last years infamous Rolling Stone coverage of sexual assault at the University of Virginia. With the limelight shining in the faces of fraternity members like an interrogation spotlight, yet another story comes to light testifying to the less-than-socially acceptable culture at our nations universities.
It Happened on Facebook
Quite unlike the stories of physical assault told in years past, the scene for this harassing behavior was a Facebook page. Pennsylvania State Universitys chapter of Kappa Delta Rho created and hosted a Facebook page dedicated to the posting of naked women. The page was a second reincarnation of a former page called Covert Business Transactions, which the fraternity shut down on its own after a woman featured on the page threatened to sue. The affidavit filed states, It appears from the photos that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken. After a KDR alumni handed over some print outs to police, a search warrant was issued. Police found dozens of pictures on the private page of naked women in intimate sexual positions. Many were unconscious. The page had 144 members at the time it was discovered by police. The authorities are considering criminal charges of both invasion of privacy and harassment. If these allegations are true there were many females who were victims of illegal offenses, said State College Police Department Chief Tom King.
The reaction from the community has been swift and widespread. Students have been in the process of planning a rally to protest the deplorable content and harassing behavior. Pennsylvania State administrators have suspended the fraternity for a period of one year. In addition, there is an ongoing investigation of the page, its victims, and other questionable activities of the fraternity. Penn State President Eric Barron pledged earlier this week to punish anyone who was a perpetrator. The university will go through its process of examining the evidence and whats most important in my view is that we do what it right, that we understand exactly whos responsible and then we pass judgment on those individuals or the organization for their behavior because its simply unacceptable. The Interfraternity Council echoed this sentiment: Kappa Delta Rho will be held accountable. Their justice will be swift but it will not be frantically determined, said Penn State Interfraternity Council President Rick Groves.
At Brownstone Law we are disheartened by this display of cyber assault and hope to see justice brought to the perpetrators.
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