Really, Sigma Phi Epsilon? There’s no way the University of Vermont frat really thought it was ok to send a survey to its members asking, “If you could rape anyone, who would it be?” Is there? (Wait, don’t answer that.)
But now that the survey has been leaked to the interwebs–apparently because a new member accidentally emailed it to his teaching assistant (ouch!)–they’re finding out it’s not ok–and fast. Feminists activists at UVM and FED UP Vermont have swiftly mobilized to call for the frat to be shut down.
On their petition, which has gotten over 3,000 signatures now, they write:
This egregious expression of rape culture is only the most recent example of systemic sexism at UVM. The past year alone has witnessed rape, multiple sexual assaults, and anti-abortion chalking in public spaces. While the university administration has laid off long-time Women’s and Gender Studies faculty and supported sexist institutions like Sigma Phi Epsilon, it has refused to take concerted action to combat sexism and rape culture. We demand that instead of diverting resources into vast salaries for its administrators, UVM should launch an aggressive campaign against sexism and rape culture, and it should expand institutions such as Women’s and Gender Studies and the Women’s Center at UVM. Furthermore, UVM must immediately disband Sigma Phi Epsilon. An institution that discusses who it wants to rape has no place at UVM or in the Burlington community.
Yesterday, the university temporarily suspended the frat, pending an investigation. This afternoon, feminists on campus, who are still demanding the frat be shut down for good, held a press conference that drew about 200 people to the steps of the university library. Hopefully they’ll be able to take the convo beyond this one awful example and raise some real awareness about rape culture in their community.