“the exact same thing happened to me earlier this year”

A woman has contacted me to say that she, also was raped at the SAE fraternity, and didn’t report it because members of the SAE fraternity pressured her to keep quiet.

Following two stories in quick sucession in the Daily this week, yet another controversy swirls around the greek system, this time centered on the possibility a member of the SAE fraternity could be investigated for rape after the Daily reported that, “the victim remembered having sexual intercourse with an unknown male inside the fraternity house after consuming a large amount of alcohol. The victim did not, however, remember where in the house the incident occurred or how she got back to her residence hall.” (Daily – March 29: “Alleged rape under investigation”

However, today’s story contridicts the police report, the sexual assault survivor today telling the Daily that she has told the Ann Arbor Police the incident was consentual:

“The alleged victim of a reported sexual assault at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house said yesterday the act in question was consensual and she does not intend to press charges. …

“The truth is that we snuck into the party, and SAE was not responsible for anything that happened that night,” she said. The police had reported that the woman and her friends were allowed into an unregistered party although they were not on the guest list. …

“I do not approve of (SAE) being kicked off campus because of this event,” she added.

Nelson said SAE members have cooperated with AAPD detectives, and plan to continue doing so.

“We take this very seriously and it’s not a reflection on who we are as a group of brothers,” he said. …

Nelson added that the SAE member involved in the incident was a pledge.”

> From today’s Daily: (March 31) “Woman denies rape at SAE house”

Additionally, I’ve been contacted by a student insensed the Daily is “letting them off like that,” saying “almost the exact same thing” happened to her, although she never reported the incident:

“… I just wanted to tell you how I feel about something in today’s Daily because I think your site is the only place this is going to get addressed fairly. … The girl who was taken advantage of at SAE has totally changed her story, and it really upsets me because almost the exact same thing happened to me earlier this year. … I never told anybody because my friends were friends with some SAE guys, and they kept telling me that SAE would get kicked off campus if I said anything.”

She added that she disagreed with the survivor’s allegation she “snuck into the party,” saying “those guys always let girls into their parties who arent on the guest list.”

Concluding, “I dont know who was responsible, but its pretty well known that the guys there push girls to drink way too much to get them drunk, they gave me some mixed drink which was way stronger than they told me.”

Meanwhile, a former president of SAE wrote a self-righteous letter in today’s Daily attacking the newspaper: “The Daily has always been keen on disparaging the Greek system in its pages with false headlines that often have no factual backing. I think you need to put a stop to your campaign to unjustly ruin SAE’s reputation.”

Luckily, saner voices prevail, here in a companion letter:

To the Daily:

After reading about the allegations of rape taking place inside a fraternity house (Alleged rape under investigation, 03/30/04), I am only further drawn to the conclusion that the interests of many of the social frats are simply incongruous with those of the University. Even if evidence shows consent on the behalf of the woman, the testimony of the friend is indicative of the institutionalized victimization occurring at social frats, and not only of women.

From the BB gun incident several years ago to the fairly recent kidney failure due to over-exhaustion, pledges are forced through a bizarre and dangerous boot camp in which their individuality is stripped for the sake of “brotherhood.” This, for one, is completely antithetical to the ideals of the American college experience, in which youth is given the chance for self-expression and realization of its individuality through study, art, sports, etc.

The victimization of women at social frats is simply undeniable and has led to a party design with that goal in mind. This is evident in this recent incident as well as the death of Courtney Cantor in 1998, for which her father sued the University with hopes of changing University policies toward the Greek system. With this in mind, I have to suggest that the recent considerations by the University — pushing back Rush and requiring a live-in advisor — are not so much in the interest of the University’s image but rather in the interest of the health and welfare of the student body.

Phil Muirhead
RC junior”

Author: Rob