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The suspension of Delta Upsilon was the right decision

We need to hold each other accountable to stop perpetuating rape culture.
Image by Courtesy of Google Images

A street view of Delta Upsilon at the University of Minnesota from Nov. 2016.

The Minnesota Daily reported earlier this week that Delta Upsilon has been temporarily suspended for “serious violations,” according to the fraternity’s international office.

The suspension of Delta Upsilon was without a doubt the correct course of action on the part of DU’s headquarters. College campuses are often dangerous climates for sexual assault. In fact, one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted while in college, according to the National Sexual Violence Research Center.

During my freshman year, I adapted a willingness to try everything at least once. I attended a few fraternity parties before quickly deciding it wasn’t my thing. More often than not, those were Delta Upsilon parties. I never feared getting assaulted, however. I stuck with my friends and was told that DU was one of the “nice” frats. I did not — could not — consider that I could be a victim of sexual assault, despite gleaning this message from society since the ripe age of seven. I felt like I had a handle on my safety and security.

Meanwhile, I was spending a sad amount of time being manipulated by a toxic friend who lived in my dorm. A while after I finally cut ties with him, I heard that he was banned from returning to the University because he was reported for sexual assaulting another one of his “friends.” I realize now that perhaps I wasn’t quite as safe as I thought I was. Not at those parties, and not in my own dorm.

My point is not that I should constantly be quivering in fear, or that men can’t be trusted, but that rape culture is an ugly beast that refuses to die.

It’s unfair that we are forced to be constantly vigilant against the infiltration of our bodies. To a lesser degree, it’s unfair that upstanding students co-exist, unknowingly, with perpetrators of violent sex crimes. Of course, not every fraternity member is a creep — I’m reassured that the Delta Upsilon international offices took action — but the “rape-y frat bro” stereotype persists.

It’s an unfortunate trope, but not as unfortunate as the foundation it stands on. Men in fraternities are three times more likely to commit rape, according to at least four studies that have been conducted in the last decade. This is a far cry from being okay.

Those with the power to do so need to punish these acts. de-normalize sexual assault on campus and dispel the stereotypes which plague them. Fraternity members who disapprove of this violent behavior need to take a public stance against it. As a culture, we need to do better to teach consent and respect from a young age. We must support and listen to victim-survivors of assault. Finally, as a campus, we need to protect and learn from each other.

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