ubc frat

Frat parties were just permanently banned at a university in Canada

Fraternities have long been known as petri dishes for problematic conduct and mores, whether it's through their perpetuation of rape culture and rampant sexism or their notoriously traumatic  hazing practices.

The University of B.C., one of Canada's most prestigious post-secondary schools, has just taken action against its frat culture by officially banning open social events on campus following allegations of drugging and sexual assault at parties hosted by at least one of the institution's frats.

The move was made by the UBC InterFraternity Council in response to a much-publicized allegations that a number of women were unknowingly drugged while in UBC frat houses earlier this academic year.

There has also been at least one allegation that a student was raped at a recent UBC frat party, as tweeted by a professor at the school.

Though drawing an association between frat parties and this kind of behaviour sadly isn't new or shocking, the public nature of the allegations led to a lot of buzz around the school, and evenutally  an investigation by the RCMP.

Social functions at UBC fraternities were suspended in October in the wake of the claims, and now, months after-the-fact, the council has determined that it cannot ensure safe conditions for attendees at frat gatherings, according to the Star.

Social functions at the school will now have to be invitation-only, with hosts mandated to follow guidelines that are still TBA.

The professor who initially broke the news of the drugging allegations on Twitter told the Star that she's happy to see that the organization is acknowledging "the role they play in sexual violence on UBC campus."

The news outlet also spoke with a number of women-identifying students at UBC last fall who cited sexual assault, groping, being aggressively hit-on and just generally feeling unsafe and  uncomfortable at frat parties on campus.

According to a student society survey cited by the Star, around 15 per cent of students utilized UBC's sexual assault services centre in 2018-2019 — and those are just the ones who came forward.

Though the specifics of UBC's new party rules and how they will be implemented are yet to be released, it will be interesting to see whether they — as well as the attention the issue has garnered — will change anything about the campus's frat culture.

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