The Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter at the University of Vermont has closed its doors after distributing a survey to brothers asking whom they would like to rape. After being placed on temporary suspension following the leak of the survey by a member, the executive director of the fraternity announced that the UVM fraternity house would be closed.
Brian Warren, executive director, announced in a statement:
“Without suggesting that every member had knowledge of this questionnaire, the questions asked in the document are deplorable and absolutely inconsistent with our values.”
Burlington Free Press reports that the fraternity house is home to between 20 to 25 members who have been asked to move out during the holiday break. UVM will be assisting the boys to find alternative housing for the spring semester.
Although the chapter has been closed indefinitely, this decision from the fraternity does not impede the possibility of a reopening further down the line, according to the statement. Police are still investigating the survey as is UVM, and the vice president of student life went on the record to say that once she and her colleagues have all the facts, the university will reevaluate the possibility of being affiliated with Sigma Phi Epsilon.
An online petition ultimately collected over 3500 signatures asking for the fraternity to be closed in an effort to stop the perpetuation of rape culture. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s actions demonstrate a well-founded intolerance for rape — as a joke, as a nonchalant comment, and as a mindset for college boys. Sigma Phi Epsilon may have decided to distance themselves from this type of rape rhetoric with the shutdown, but those sons who designed and received those surveys ultimately reflect the holes of poor parenting– in which the violation of women and girls was somehow overlooked.