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- University Panel Finds Fraternity Not Responsible for a Video of a Member Chanting "Rape"
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Newsletter > September 2015 > "University Panel Finds Fraternity Not Responsible for a Video of a Member Chanting “Rape”"
University Panel Finds Fraternity Not Responsible for a Video of a Member Chanting “Rape”
Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 14, 2015, the University of Central Florida suspended the Sigma Nu Fraternity chapter on its campus. The suspension resulted from a complaint with the Student Conduct Office. The complaint references a video where “there’s a brother yelling obscenities, like ‘Let’s rape some [expletives], rape some sluts’ and then yelling, ‘Rape’ over and over again.”1
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the video was recorded in an off campus apartment where several members of Sigma Nu live. The report said four members of the fraternity were present at the time the video was recorded.2 The video was recorded by a woman who was not a UCF student. She sent the videos to a UCF student who had previously filed a police report alleging that she had been sexually assaulted at the Sigma Nu fraternity house. The UCF student filed the report with the university, saying that the non-student who filmed the video “sent me the videos because she felt that they may be able to help me in my open police case…”3 As a result of the more recent complaint including the video, the university launched a Title IX investigation and placed the chapter on an interim suspension pending a university panel hearing.
The panel found that the video shows an individual who was “inebriated and venting” and that members of the fraternity were attempting to calm him down. The panel “found insufficient information to suggest that Sigma Nu as a fraternity is responsible for the remarks made by this individual.”4 The panel’s decision must be adopted or rejected by the University before it can become final. Until then, the fraternity’s interim suspension remains in place.
This is an important development, and a positive one for fraternal organizations. When an organization violates university rules, it should be punished. When an individual violates a university rule, s/he should be punished. But organizations should not be punished because of the wrongful acts of an individual member who is acting outside the scope of the organization.
1 Russon, Gabrielle. The Orlando Sentinel. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ucf-sigma-nu-frat-rape-chant-video-20150814-story.html
4 Panel Says Fraternity is Not Responsible. The Chronicle for Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/panel-at-u-of-central-florida-says-fraternity-is-not-responsible-for-members-chants-of-rape/103453?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en