USC Grad Students, FTW

11 Mar

An update on what USC is doing about the pie and gullet pig who wrote a violence-inciting,  frat-shaming, lady-hating email to a fraternity: Nothing.

The students, on the other hand, are getting organized. Some USC grad students have drafted a lovely letter (probably a lot nicer than what yours truly would have said, but maybe I’ll update you on that later) to the University President. You can check it out on Facebook. Or read my favorite little excerpt here….

That the reprehensible views of women and people of color propagated in the email casts the entire university community in a negative light goes without saying, but what compels us to write today is an even more serious issue. Amid the various hateful statements the author makes, he encourages his fellow fraternity brothers to use drugs and alcohol to incapacitate the women they date, telling these young men that “Non-consent and rape are two different things.” This statement goes beyond hate speech; it is an incitement to sexual violence. What was most shocking about the article was that the USC administration has announced that they will not conduct an investigation of the author (if he is indeed a USC student) or the organization involved in disseminating this shocking email until the national fraternity has completed its own internal investigation.

Some of us, in our daily interactions with undergraduate students at USC as graduate instructors, have had female undergraduates express confusion, anxiety and fear about the prevalent threat of sexual violence at Greek events on and near the USC campus, and have described dismissive treatment by the USC officials from whom they seek help. Others of us have faced recalcitrance from the administration when reporting hate speech against women in our own classrooms. Despite the many exemplary men and women involved with the Greek system at USC, this public embarrassment has revealed both the presence of a culture of sexual violence within the Greek system at USC, and that system’s failure to eradicate that culture on its own.

Rock on, grad students.

This post is brought to you by Rachel.

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