(WTNH) It’s been a bad news month for college fraternities. On the heels of the racist video shot on a University of Oklahoma fraternity party bus, come new details about the suspension of a Penn State frat, Kappa Delta Rho. Using a search warrant, police in State College, PA say they found multiple pictures on a “secret” Facebook page of nude young women who appeared to be passed out and posed in sexual and/or embarrassing positions.
A police spokesman told the Associated Press that several of the pictures, “yielded information on two victims whose images would rise to the level of criminal action.”
That’s cop talk for what sounds like a disgusting and horribly exploitive action that gives another black eye to college fraternities everywhere, and Penn State in particular. By most accounts, the university community has been healing from the nightmare of the Jerry Sandusky child molesting scandal several years ago. This latest matter doesn’t involve the football program. But it can’t help things.
Police say there were 144 active users on the page when they were first told about it. In what could be seen as one light in the darkness, it was brought to their attention by a fraternity member. He came to the police station in January, worried that the page, which was called “2.0,” was illegal. That led to the search warrant, and here we are.
Dudes are going to be dudes, I get that. But this is just not acceptable on any level. It’s criminal. It’s a form of rape, and that’s not counting any types of actual sexual assaults that were committed when the cameras weren’t clicking. Penn State officials are asking that any students “affected” by the Facebook page — which I’m guessing means girls who “are pictured naked and passed out” on the Facebook page — come forward. As if the shame and embarrassment those “affected” co-eds must be experiencing already isn’t enough. I doubt they’ll be knocking the police station doors down.
I don’t have daughters. But if I did, and they were in college, I would advise them at this point to simply not go to frat parties, and if they did, to stay somewhat sober. I DO have sons — not college age yet — and I’m already advising them that this kind of thing is ugly, criminal, and could ruin their futures. Oh yeah, and that they should stay somewhat sober, too. Lurking behind all these frat-related scandals is an epidemic of alcohol abuse in college. Until colleges, until society, figure out a way to deal with that first, expect more racism and sexual assault, some of it played out for all to see on social media.