The Sigma Nu Fraternity came under fire last week when offensive banners supporting “rape culture” were photographed hanging from an off-campus private residence, where Old Dominion University (ODU) students reportedly lived, WTKR reported.
At first, the guilty parties were not believed to be Sigma Nu members, but upon further investigation, it became increasingly apparent there was a connection.
The signs read different things.
“Rowdy and fun! Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time…”
“Freshman daughter drop off…”
“Go ahead and drop off Mom, too.”
When the messages hit social media, there was a fierce backlash that prompted a response from the fraternity’s governing body as well as ODU officials.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 25, 2015
Sigma Nu decided to suspend the chapter pending a further investigation. On Monday, the Inquisitr caught up with Giovanna M. Genard, the university’s acting assistant vice-president of strategic communication and marketing, as well as Nathaniel Clarkson, director of communications for Sigma Nu.
Genard said that federal law “protects student privacy and forbids universities from disclosing any information related to disciplinary action.”
“I can tell you that students and organizations are held accountable to the University’s Code of Conduct and discrimination policy and are given due process,” Genard added.
Gerard then referenced the statement sent out by Brad Beacham, executive director of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
In it, Beacham notes that the fraternity “condemns the derogatory and demeaning language used on the banners.”
“Such language has no place in our Fraternity or within any caring community, such as that of ODU. Any Fraternity member found to be responsible for this reprehensible display will be held accountable by the Fraternity. Initial reports regarding the banners indicated that no Fraternity member had involvement with the banners. However, additional information received by the Fraternity… indicates that some chapter members may have had involvement with the banners. Upon completion of its investigation, the Fraternity will take action in accordance with its principles and code of conduct. The Fraternity will remain in close communication with ODU administrators throughout its investigation and review.”
On Monday, Clarkson confirmed that the fraternity had “no further statement at this time,” so it’s not yet known how many students were involved, nor what disciplinary action, if any, will be taken against the students.
While it could stay that way, the incident brings to mind the infamous Wounded Warrior assault from April, in which some information was leaked out as to the identities of fraternity members, who had spit on Wounded Warrior veterans at a retreat in Florida.
The University of Florida eventually decided to shut down the chapter.
Do you think that is what should happen here, readers, or is the Sigma Nu reaction and cooperation worthy of keeping the organization in place at ODU? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Twitter]