Hundreds of students at the University of Kansas (KU) staged a protest in front of the chancellor’s office on Friday to denounce an alleged sexual assault committed by an undergraduate member of a fraternity.
The protesters demanded university officials remove the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and hold one of its new members accountable for drugging and raping a student during a house party.
Outraged students posted a placard at the office’s entrance that read “Office of the Complicit” because of its alleged slow action on the serious allegation involving KU students.
A spokesperson for the fraternity said it has been informed of the alleged incident and is cooperating with the university to resolve it. “Phi Kappa Psi takes these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement,” it said in a statement.
‘Doesn’t Change Overnight’
Last week, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, and Vice Provost Tammara Durham issued a statement saying that the school takes the issue seriously and is committed to the health and safety of students.
The officials also reminded students that the college has plenty of resources to assist survivors of sexual violence. Victims are encouraged to contact the school’s Campus Assistance, Resource, and Education (CARE) coordinator.
Girod, meanwhile, told The Kansas City Star that serious incidents like sexual violence cannot be resolved overnight. “Regrettably it’s not confined to the Greek community by any stretch of the imagination, it’s still a challenge across our society. As we are a community of 40,000 people we reflect our society,” he remarked.
Students Express Support
KU student Annabelle Bitner said in an interview with KCUR that it is good for students not to let the university “cover it up” and let the fraternity member get away with the alleged crime.
Another student, Jonny Wagner, said that he likes seeing the fraternity being condemned for the heinous incident. “I would like to see another fraternity move into that house. But unfortunately, I think that’s not going to happen,” he told the media outlet.
An online petition calling for the removal of Phi Kappa Psi from campus has been launched, garnering more than 17,000 signatures as of last week.