Horrific Gang Rape At UVA Reopens The Debate About Whether We Should Ban Frats


November 25, 2014

November 25, 2014

So far, most activists and survivor-led groups on campus aren’t calling for that. Kierra Johnson, the executive director of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) — a group that engages campus leaders on issues of sex, health, and wellness — told ThinkProgress she doesn’t know of any colleges that have an active campaign to ban fraternal life. At UVA specifically, a petition demanding reforms that’s garnered thousands of signatures calls for Phi Kappa Psi to be shuttered, but doesn’t seek to crack down on other fraternities or sororities.

Instead, the students involved with URGE are mostly working on efforts to engage the Greek community in consent education and bystander intervention efforts. Thanks to a renewed national focus on issues of campus sexual assault — and particularly on men’s role in creating a culture where sexual violence is unacceptable — new opportunities to partner with the Greek system have emerged.

“I’ve been really excited over the years to see many of our chapter members working with the Panhellenic Council,” Johnson said. “They plan events in collaboration with fraternities and sororities; they’ve recruited fraternity and sorority members to be participants and join our chapters. They include them as an important part of reaching the campus community as a whole.”