Asst. Opinions Editor
Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault. Please read with caution.
Women in college ages 18 – 24 are three times more likely to be in college than women of those ages not in college. Thirteen percent of college students have been raped or have experienced sexual assault through violence. These statistics don’t account for other misconducts, such as stalking, which women may experience on campus, accounting for 5.8 percent of students who enter college. 23.1 percent of transgender, genderqueer, or nonconforming (TGQN) college students have been sexually assaulted. These statistics are the only ones that have been reported, as 80 percent of sexual violence goes unreported every year.
NO MEANS NO!
No does not mean ‘yes’ or ‘maybe;’ it means no. I don’t understand why so many people don’t understand this, and that is why sexual assault is such a huge problem. Many people don’t understand the meaning of the word no, or how to properly identify consent. If a woman is unconscious or drunk, that is not consent; if she verbally says ‘no’ or ‘maybe,’ that is not consent. The gravity of the word “no” is not hard to understand, but, for many fraternities, it is.
Take Phi Gamma Delta as an example.
At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, many people have been protesting outside of the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta — better known as Fiji — which has been suspended, once again, for sexual misconduct, which they have a history of. One of the fraternity members allegedly raped a minor on Tuesday, Aug. 24 around 12 a.m. during a “wild party” that was happening inside of the frat house, according to the police’s daily crime log. The alleged sexual assault involved a 17-year-old female student and a 19-year-old male student. He has yet to be arrested or taken into custody, which is why it is no surprise that nearly 1,000 people have been protesting outside of the fraternity for the past couple of days, demanding that the University shut down the fraternity for good, instead of putting the frat on probation, suspending them, or enforcing a temporary shutdown while the investigation is taking place.
Fiji has been suspended various times before, according to an announcement the University of Nebraska, Lincoln made in 2017 that the frat has been under investigation for the following: “reckless alcohol use, hazing and inappropriate sexually-based behavior, including a pattern of sexually harassing conduct.” Members of the Fiji frat also made extremely inappropriate comments and harassed women outside of the fraternity house during the Women’s March on Jan. 21 of 2017, which were “consistent with the pattern of sexually-harassing conduct evident in multiple other incidents.” After these incidents in 2017, the school just suspended the frat, meaning that the university does not acknowledge it as a fraternity or a Greek organization of Nebraska, and freshman pledges are no longer permitted to live in the off-campus fraternity anymore. So, I am not surprised that the Fiji Frat is continuing to wreak havoc. The University of Nebraska, Lincoln only suspended the fraternity after people started protesting. To me, that shows that the college only cares about their image, rather than the survivor of the assault. According to Journal Star, this is the 103rd rape reported to the UNL Police since 2005, and the 78th sexual assault since 2015.
According to Fiji, their “chapter at the University of Nebraska is cooperating with local authorities as they investigate allegations of sexual assault by one of its members.” The statement reads: “the International Fraternity is working with the University and will take appropriate action pending the findings of the investigation.” However, a Snapchat video has been circulating online of the fraternity laughing at all the protesters outside of their fraternity 48 hours after the alleged sexual assault happened. Does this sound like they take sexual assault seriously? With a fraternity with a documented pattern of pig-like behavior, it’s no wonder they are acting like sexual assault is such a huge joke.
Many students who attend the University of Nebraska, Lincoln report that “Lincoln FIJI has ALWAYS been known as the rapey frat and [that] they have the track record to prove it.” Many sororities on the UNL campus say to avoid both Fiji men and the house in general because of how dangerous they are. During the Women’s March back in 2017, a handful of Fiji members harassed people attending the march so they could chant, “no means yes!” This is very similar to what Delta Kappa Epsilon pledges said while marching around campus back in 2010, but, they added, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” These fraternities are absolute horrible human beings; what person in their right mind says these horrific things — nonetheless chant it! People wonder why so many individuals want to abolish Greek life; it’s because of stories and incidents like this.
People on Twitter have speculated that the alleged Fiji rapist has fled to Cabo with his family for vacation while the investigation is going on. Him leaving the country may not be true, though; the UNL Police stated that the alleged rapist is currently not on campus, but back home with an attorney. In my opinion, it’s hard to believe this information because the university itself did not start holding Fiji accountable until the protesting outside of the fraternity happened. He could have been anywhere, and the UNL would have covered it up to save their image once again, as they have been doing so for years with this fraternity — letting them get away with numerous accounts of sexual assault and hazing incidents. Suspending isn’t enough; they need to be shut down for good.
This whole investigation reminds me of the case People v. Turner because the perpetrator was able to get away with raping a woman due to White privilege. Brock Turner, a Stanford Swimmer, was convicted of raping an unconscious 22-year-old woman back in 2015 and was given a slap on the wrist with a six-month sentence. Not even a day after being arrested, Turner was released on a $150,000 bail! If that doesn’t show privilege, I don’t know what does. Not to mention, Turner only served half of his sentence because it “would have a severe impact on [Turner]. I think he will not be a danger to others,” according to Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky (Stanford alumnus), who levied Turner’s sentence. To add, he was in protective custody for the three months that he was in jail.
Emmett Till is an example of the intersection of race and rape; he was wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a White woman back in 1955 because he was a Black boy, and he was lynched due to this accusation! In a study by the University of Maine, it was concluded that Black men convicted of raping White women receive more serious sanctions than all other sexual assault defendants. If Turner was a person of color, he would not have been given only six months in jail, nor would he have served only half of his sentence. At the beginning of this investigation, the photo the news had put out of Turner was his high school yearbook photo; if he were a Black man, it would have been a mugshot. Apparently, you can get away with sexual assault if you are a White man!
Is the alleged Fiji rapist going to get away with raping a minor? Most likely. Only six percent of rapists serve jail time, and 15 out 16 rapists end up walking out free. This is what is wrong with our justice system and colleges around the world; they almost always give the rapist a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Things need to change; fraternities need to be held accountable, and the police need to start questioning the rapist rather than the survivor. Rapists belong behind bars, not in their homes. No person should ever be violated and have their safety taken away from them.
No means no, not yes — get it straight!
Featured Image: Courtesy of dailynebraskan.com