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.
One of my students spent the weekend in the hospital after being drugged in a Vancouver bar on Friday night. On Saturday morning there were six (6!!) women with her who had been drugged in the fraternities on UBC campus.— Dr. Marina Adshade (@MarinaAdshade) October 1, 2019
And people ask me why I am opposed to the frat houses?
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.
Today a student of mine came to in distress and told me she was raped at a frat house but she did not want to report it nor wanted to mentioned which frat house was, this do not happened this weekend but two weeks. We agreed to keep talking and I am on it.— Maria Carbonetti (@mariacarubc) October 5, 2019
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.
Such acts by frat members are appalling. 1st memory of undergrad @UBC was helping an intoxicated friend through the whole evening after someone drugged her beer. I've been harassed by frat boys & the culture definitely doesn't stay in the houses: they bring it to the classrooms— Julia Bilinski (@PoliPsycPotato) October 4, 2019
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."
Students had shared stories of feeling uncomfortable at previous frat parties where they experienced aggressive come-ons. However, there is no data on the number of sexual harassment or assault cases that may have happened at UBC frat or sorority parties. https://t.co/1QuIxeo4E2— Joanna Chiu 趙淇欣 (@joannachiu) February 26, 2020
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.
UBC frat parties are fckn disgusting I’m surprised it took this long tbh 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/Pzjj2CEztZ— b (@britzava) February 27, 2020
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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