Letter: UMN needs a comprehensive plan to end rape culture

Swift action is needed to foster a zero-tolerance culture.

University students get on and off the campus connector bus on Tuesday.  On December 7, the campus connectors, along with other metro transit buses, will resume bus service on Washington Avenue for the first time since May 2011.

Daily File Photo

University students get on and off the campus connector bus on Tuesday. On December 7, the campus connectors, along with other metro transit buses, will resume bus service on Washington Avenue for the first time since May 2011.

Amy Hess

Don Powell, the chapter advisor of Delta Upsilon, called the suspension of the fraternity “a first-class lynching of a group of guys,” and added, “compared to some of the other fraternities at the U., our guys are choirboys!” This statement is infuriating.

I would like to know more about the number of sexual assaults required to place you on the sexual assault continuum from “choirboys” to “other fraternities.” And comparing the suspension of a fraternal organization to lynching? That is horrid on a whole other level when considering the historical implications of lynching in the United States, and the fact that fraternities embody the quintessential male privilege stereotype.

This campus must be a safe place for all; this is the message President Kaler communicates to my campus email when disturbing incidents occur. Despite this rhetoric, reports of sexual assault are frequently revealed after being kept hidden by those in power and kept secret within the shame of the victims. The disgusting details that are exposed when these crimes come to light raise one question: When will the University enact a comprehensive plan to end the rape culture present on our campus?

As a leader in so many areas, the University of Minnesota receives countless accolades. It is time to lead with a zero-tolerance culture regarding sexual assault that takes swift action instead of leading with headlines of sexual assault. Sorry “choirboys,” the fun is over, if that’s what this is to you.

Amy Hess

University of Minnesota student

Editor’s Note: This letter has been lightly edited for style and grammar.