Kit Steinkellner
October 09, 2014 4:18 pm

This is a bad news/good news post. The bad news is that a group of frat dudes lived up to the terrible reputation of perpetuating rape culture. The good news is that, under pressure from protesters, fraternity leaders are making bigger moves when it comes to shutting down messages of sexual violence in their chapters.

Recently, the international Greek organization Phi Delta Theta stepped up to the plate when confronted with some straight-up horrifying behavior from their Texas Tech University chapter. The PDT members of TTU threw a party on September 19th during which the members prominently displayed a sign that said “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal.”  The slogan is based on an (unfortunately popular) Internet meme. Images of the party found their way onto the Internet (because good luck throwing a frat party in 2014 and NOT having your college-age attendees post the photographic evidence all over Instagram) and in addition to Texas Tech quickly launching an investigation, the frat’s international officials immediately sentenced the chapter with a temporary suspension.

As of this week, that temporary suspension has now given way to the Texas Tech’s chapter seeing their charter revoked. All involved with the signage have been removed from membership. The remaining members will see a MAJOR change in their activities, which will now be “. . . limited to education in the areas of sexual assault prevention and bystander behavior, improving chapter operations, community service and philanthropic activities.” The chapter has also been sentenced to 10,000 hours of community service, providing aid to organizations dedicated to rape crisis and sexual assault prevention.

The decision came after two students staged a protest against campus rape culture last week, draping bedsheets with “no means no” written on them, over university statues.  While the sheets were removed swiftly, the Associated Press managed to snap some photos and soon the protest—and the reason behind it—made national headlines. With heightened public awareness, officials took action this week against the fraternity at the center of the controversy.

As disturbing as the fraternity’s actions were, it’s heartening to see that action was taken, and student outcries were heard. The frat brothers were served up a punishment that fit the crime (no more parties, no more drinking, just a TON of education and community service). Hopefully, the message was received that a culture of sexual violence will not be tolerated.

(Image via AP)

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