Target: University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan
Goal: End sexual assault by banning all fraternities at the University of Virginia
The issue of college sexual assault has been brought to the forefront after a Rolling Stone article was published detailing the University of Virginia’s misconduct in dealing with campus sexual assault. The college is taking steps to remedy its processes in response to the article, but falls short of what can and should be done. Demand that the university permanently ban all fraternities as a step towards ending the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.
A Rolling Stone article recently came out detailing the absolutely deplorable way in which a sexual assault survivor was treated by representatives of the administration at University of Virginia following her gang rape at a fraternity party. In response to the backlash the university has gotten as a result of the article, the university’s president, Teresa A. Sullivan, has suspended all fraternities and their social activities until early January, during which time the university community will come together to discuss steps on how to prevent sexual assault on campus. While this is an admirable first step, this is nothing but a temporary halt in the activities of organizations that have become nothing more than proving grounds for the exercise of toxic masculinity.
Bearing this in mind, the only sensible thing to do is to ban fraternities outright and permanently. This, unfortunately, in all likelihood, won’t prevent all sexual assault on campus, but it is a significant first step and one that communicates that the university is taking the problem seriously. Sign the petition below to demand that the University of Virginia ban all fraternities permanently.
Dear President Sullivan,
I am writing you today about how your university is choosing to combat sexual assault on campus, following the recent Rolling Stone article. Among other things, you are suspending all fraternities and their social activities until early January, before the start of the spring semester. While this is an admirable first step, it should not be an end-all-be-all in the university’s efforts to reduce and eliminate sexual assault.
Instances of sexual assault and sexual violence that are perpetrated by men are the result of a culture of masculinity that values violent domination over women. Fraternities are social organizations dominated by men wherein this culture of toxic masculinity is hardly ever critically examined–indeed, is more likely to be celebrated than anything else–and as a result, is reproduced time and time again in the behavior of their members. Efforts to educate the fraternity members can only go so far in countering a lifetime of conditioning in this violent form of masculinity. While we should all strive to create a culture where these toxic ideas of masculinity no longer exist, we should recognize that here and now, more drastic measures need to be taken to protect members of your university’s student body.
Sexual assault and sexual violence should not be a part of anyone’s college experience, or indeed, anyone’s life experience. In that spirit I ask you to do the most you can do to prevent sexual assault on your campus, and ban all fraternities permanently. It should not be considered an end-all-be-all in your ongoing efforts, but your example may do much to encourage other universities to do the same to counter the abomination of sexual assault endemic to so many’s college experiences.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pmart804 via Wikimedia Commons