Sorority sisters gathered in the Freeman Auditorium on Wednesday night to speak with the Panhellenic Council and representatives from the Interfraternity Council regarding their concerns over recent allegations that members of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity kept a Facebook page filled with nude pictures of female peers.
Over 300 girls attended the event, which also included representatives from the Office of Student Conduct and Counseling and Psychological Services. Panhellenic’s advisor, Dina Liberatore, began the meeting by welcoming the members and saying that the purpose of the forum was to ensure that something like this does not occur again. Members were encouraged to share their feelings and ask questions about KDR, and the executives or panel members would do their best to address any concerns.
Members began by talking in small groups about what they knew about the recent scandal, and if their families and friends had expressed any concerns about the situation in general.
Dr. Roy Baker, Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, reiterated previous reports, and clarified that the fraternity was suspended by the IFC and the national chapter, not the university. Students will still have the opportunity to be a part of the fraternity, he said, but they can also gain alumni status if they so chose. It is also still a possibility that the fraternity will be kicked off campus completely.
Liberatore urged sorority members to “stay away” from the fraternity at this time. Baker was quick to clarify that KDR is simply not allowed to host social events, and shouldn’t be ostracized.
The forum quickly turned into a debate as to whether or not all of the members of KDR should be punished, and what sorts of punishments they should face. Some members argued that the strictest policies possible should be enacted to make sure that the public does not see the university as ignoring the problem. Others felt that no action is being taken, perhaps even “enabling this culture,” while some said that too much emphasis is being placed on the fraternity as a whole instead of the individual members who were responsible for the actions. Some sorority members even jumped to the defense of the fraternity, and suggested the brothers they knew were all “good people.”
Sorority members wanted to ensure that none of the photos or names of victims would be leaked to the public. Girls were encouraged to contact the police if they felt like they were possible victims.
One more sorority sister questioned the actions, or lack thereof, that the IFC had taken to reflect on the past week’s proceedings. The comment was met with applause.
“None of the victims are at fault. All of the boys need to be called out for it,” she said. “It’s interesting that the first people to have an open forum is the sorority side, not the boys, when it’s coming from them. That’s the problem, and it’s kind of disheartening that in the frats there’s nothing happening yet.”
In one impassioned exchange, a sorority member referenced the instantly controversial Philly Mag interview in an effort to explain why sorority members were having a difficult time offering support to KDR brothers. Calling the brother’s comments “absolutely disgusting,” she said that until members admit that they did something wrong, “there’s no point in moving forward to forgiveness.”
Another sorority member responded by saying that the brother was inactive in the fraternity, and didn’t reflect its views. “If you have friends in KDR or meet people from KDR, know that there are a lot of good people who don’t feel that way,” she said.
Ultimately, many sorority members questioned why Panhellenic had yet to issue a statement as of Wednesday night. Renko explained that she hoped the meeting would pool together opinions in an effort to make an encompassing statement more accurate.
As discussion continued throughout the meeting, Renko, Liberatore, and Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Jazmyn Pulley did their best to try to promote some positivity.
“This is your opportunity to step up and show people the positive side of Greek life,” Pulley said. “Show that Greek life is strong and important to us.”
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