Hundreds of students gathered outside the Phi Gamma Delta House on Ellis Avenue in Iowa City on Tuesday calling for the fraternity to be abolished over sexual abuse allegations at the University of Iowa (UI).
The protest, linked to an online petition that has garnered 85,000 signatures, was spurred by a sexual assault that took place in September 2020.
Two members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity — commonly known as FIJI — allegedly drugged, raped, and videotaped a female sophomore. Further, the men circulated the videos on the FIJI group chat where no one objected or tried to stop it.
Protesters accused the university and the city police department of turning a blind eye to the incident. Despite Iowa City detectives having extensive proof against the perpetrators — including their DNA, videos, and photos — students claim that the men are still allowed on campus.
There were easily a few hundred people protesting outside University of Iowa fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta or FIJI, over an online petition. pic.twitter.com/meiM1thMzL
— Ethan Stein (@EthanSteinTV) September 1, 2021
“Almost 1 year of struggling to get this case to court, the Iowa City county attorney told her [the victim] that this case will not be taken to court, despite more than enough evidence. Since the courts won’t give her justice, we need to do it ourselves…Shut Fiji down nationwide,” the Change.org petition reads.
Iowa City PD has not yet confirmed nor denied the alleged assault.
“We take all allegations of sexual assault seriously and investigate them to the fullest extent possible. However, we cannot comment on online petitions,” the PD said in a statement.
The university also refrained from commenting, saying privacy laws forbid it from commenting on student affairs. It added that it would, however, listen to any student who reports sexual misconduct, but not every victim chooses to do that.
‘Enough is Enough’
The incident comes days after the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suspended the FIJI fraternity after a sexual assault report sparked an ongoing investigation.
“I just think enough is enough,” one UI student told Iowa’s News Now. “This has been going on for far too long at universities across the United States. Men are getting away with sexual violence against women, and we’re sick of it. We are the generation that’s gonna stop it. It’s over.”
Students plan to reunite outside the president’s house on Wednesday to make their demands heard.