I really wanted this week’s article to be something positive. My plan was to write about Netflix’s newest show, Heartstopper, but after hearing about the absolutely disgusting events that took place at a UCSD fraternity, I have found I simply cannot think nor write about anything else.
I would like to firstly include a trigger warning for sensitive content in this article. I will not go into detail about anything that has happened out of respect for the victims. I will also preface with including that I personally am not in Greek life but have been a regular at several fraternities’ parties. I am not writing this to involve myself with anything that has happened. I merely want to express my immense frustration and disgust with the incidents that are continuously occurring at these parties. My heart goes out to the victims of anything that has happened.
Fraternities need to be held accountable for the repulsing, atrocious behavior of the boys at these parties. There have been far too many sexual assault allegations against several fraternities that are being swept under the rug. These boys will do anything to save themselves, to save their brothers, and to save their fraternity. But merely posting a statement that they will do better is not enough. Ignoring the situation and telling the victim that they’ve “dealt” with the situation is not enough. These boys and their organizations must be held accountable for their actions.
It is extremely telling that there are stereotypes surrounding certain fraternities. It is telling that these fraternities have to go out of their way to post warnings about incidents like these happening at their parties, which includes posters in their bathrooms, on any doors, near the bar, etc. It is telling that several of my peers to whom I’ve spoken have reservations and anxieties about attending certain fraternities’ parties because of the amount of allegations that have been made against them. It is even telling that being affiliated with a certain fraternity can be considered a “red flag.” It is telling that what I commonly hear about the recruitment process for fraternities is that “personalities follow each other.” It is extremely telling that these fraternities have not faced any serious consequences for their revolting behavior.
Hold fraternities accountable.
The environment of these frat parties can become very unsafe very quickly. There’s an expectation set for these frat boys that they will have some type of sexual encounter during the night, whether that be making out with someone or taking them back to their car or to their dorm. This idea that just because they’re in a frat they’re desirable is sickening to think about, especially when it becomes evident that they will do anything to make this idea a reality. Girls apparently can’t just dance with their friends at parties. No. A frat boy has to come up behind them and try to grind on them, try to pull them away. Their expectation that girls will give them what they want because they’re at their party, because they’re intoxicated, because they’re dressed in a more revealing manner is what leads them to believe that they can take advantage of these girls, who are simply trying to enjoy a party with their friends.
It’s different if both parties understand what the other wants and is okay with any encounter happening. It’s also a motive for girls to go to parties. But consent is non-negotiable in these situations. There absolutely must be some form of consent given by both people to make sure everyone is comfortable. And consent can be taken away at any given moment. Just because two people are making out does not mean that one of them is okay with going any further than that. Just because two people are consenting to kissing does not mean one of them has consent to touch the other in any way the other does not want them to. I understand that encounters like these are extremely common at parties, but sexual assaults are being brushed off as a matter of “she asked for it” because the victim was acting a certain way or dressed a certain way or fliritng with the perpetrator a few minutes before. That does not matter if there is no consent. That is something these frat boys aren’t seeming to understand.
These fraternities need to be held accountable for their actions. I will keep repeating this until it happens. Hold fraternities accountable.
Boys will be boys, we are told, and it is clear that being a boy means being entitled to doing whatever you want to someone else regardless of if they were given consent or not. And boys will do anything to protect their brothers. Not only should the perpetrator himself be held accountable, but so should all those who are doing everything they can to cover up any situations that have happened. The fraternity itself should be subject to investigation so that it can be discovered if personalities really do follow each other, and they can all face the consequences of their actions.
The bottom line: hold fraternities accountable.
I am angry. I am so beyond infuriated it makes me sick. This has happened far too many times. Even something like this happening once should call for outrage. I feel ashamed to be going to a university that does not hold these fraternities accountable for the unforgivable and inexcusable actions of these boys.
These fraternities must be held accountable.
Just because a girl is in a sorority does not mean that she is there for you to take advantage of her. Just because a girl is not in a sorority does not mean that you can get away with taking advantage of her. Just because a girl is dressed in a revealing outfit, most likely dressing to the theme of the party assigned by the fraternity, does not mean that she is giving you permission to put your hands on her body. Just because a girl is dancing provocatively does not mean that you have the right to try to force yourself onto her. Just because a girl is being flirtatious or has kissed you before does not mean she has any intention of doing so again. Girls do not owe boys anything.
I am angry. I am sickened. These fraternities must be held accountable for their actions. We must work together to bring this to attention, and to bring these victims their rightful justice.