University rape culture finally gets the banner ad it's been looking for.
Students arriving at Old Dominion University last week were welcomed with signs that pretty much said "we don't respect female students or women in general." These signs show fellow students, their parents and the school's faculty that fraternities really are society's dilapidated funhouses full of terrifying, misogynistic nightmares.
The administration, the Student Government Association and University President John Broderick have all issued statements condemning the spray-painted signage.
The university's student government showed initiative with their verbal statement:
“An incident occurred this weekend that does not reflect the University’s commitment to the prevention of Sexual Assault and Dating Violence. Not only do these actions taken by a few individuals undermine the countless efforts at Old Dominion University to prevent sexual assault, they are also unwelcoming, offensive, and unacceptable. Over the past year, our community, partners, faculty/staff, and student leaders have stood side-by-side to inform and educate our campus on Sexual Assault prevention. This issue is not new, rather, it is one that continues to be prevalent around the world. It is very important for all of us to take action and be part of the solution! These actions do not reflect the students’ views at Old Dominion University. We encourage YOU to continue to raise awareness, hold each other accountable, take care of one another, and be responsible citizens of the Monarch Community.”
ODU SGA also released the following video with their reaction to seriousness of their fellow student's dismal use of judgment:
Here is an excerpt from ODU President John Broderick's statement, which was shared on Facebook:
"I am outraged about the offensive message directed toward women that was visible for a time on 43rd Street. Our students, campus community and alumni have been offended. While we constantly educate students, faculty and staff about sexual assault and sexual harassment, this incident confirms our collective efforts are still failing to register with some.
A young lady I talked to earlier today courageously described the true meaning of the hurt this caused. She thought seriously about going back home.
But she was heartened, she explained, when she saw how fellow students were reacting to this incident on social media. She realized this callous and senseless act did not reflect the Old Dominion she has come to love.
...I said at my State of the University address that there is zero tolerance on this campus for sexual assault and sexual harassment. This incident will be reviewed immediately by those on campus empowered to do so. Any student found to have violated the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action."
Although these signs don't necessarily represent all frats, or even all members of a frat, it is a glaring reminder of the outdated, sexist culture fostered within Greek walls. The culprits are still unconfirmed, but according to Jezebel it may be Sigma Nu, who were super shady to reporters who saw spray paint remnants in the Sigma Nu driveway.
Let's hope disciplinary action is indeed taken, even though my vote is to suspend frats until they prove themselves able to contribute anything to college life besides frightening male stereotypes.