Thursday, September 20, 2012

UVM announces planned actions in wake of fraternity's rape survey

Now the furor has died down, and the damage done, and the chapter disbanded. NOW they tell us "The fraternity was not responsible" for the "who would you rape?" survey.
Where on campus is the office which can return the chapter's reputation?

The University of Vermont has announced a series of measures to combat sexual violence in the aftermath of a scandal surrounding the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity last year.

UVM said the fraternity itself was not responsible for a controversial survey in which members of the fraternity were reported asked whom they would like to rape. A community furor ensued, the campus chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was closed and UVM launched an investigation.

Last semester, various recommendations were made by UVM’s Gender-based Sexual Violence Task Force and the Commission on Social Change.

Thursday, a report to the UVM community by Tom Gustafson, vice president for university relations and campus life, and Annie Stevens, associate vice president for university relations and campus life, provided an update on the investigation and those recommendations.

The university’s inquiry into the fraternity has been completed, with the conclusion that “Sig Ep as an organization” was not responsible for putting the question in the survey. Other findings surfaced, however, that could lead to sanctions against the fraternity, pending investigation.

Recommendations to be implemented include:
  • Providing funding for the annual Dismantling Rape Culture Conference, which is organized by UVM’s Women’s Center.
  • Sponsoring an independent review of “the UVM Greek Life community” to be conducted by outside experts, with a final report due by January.
  • Providing funding for a full-time men’s educator; for a post-doctoral position focusing on issues such as sexual violence and masculinity, the position to be housed in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program; and for a full-time investigator, in the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Office, to review all cases of discrimination, including sexual violence.
  • Making a summer-reading selection for incoming students that focuses on a topic pertaining to gender issues, violence and oppression.
  • Funding one-time training costs for development of a “comprehensive bystander intervention program.”
  • Creating “a communication and response plan” to handle “major incidents of bias, unusual death, sexual violence, alcohol and other drugs.”
UVM announces planned actions in wake of fraternity's rape survey | Burlington Free Press |

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