Weekly Digest: College Edition

Several deadlines are calling my name.  Spring Break has ended.  The long slog to May feels impossible thanks to the fifth cold of the season and the 800th snow event behind us.

But the ire-raising news and images don’t let the weary rest.  This week has produced not shocking news about college campuses and media created for them.

At my alma mater Penn State, more boys were caught “behaving badly” in the fraternity system.  Members of Kappa Delta Rho, KDR, are accused of running and using a Facebook page called 2.0 that showed pictures of women, many naked, many unaware they were being photographed.  The site is called 2.0 because they got caught and had to shut down the first page they had like this.  DID YOU HEAR THAT?  ARE YOU SURPRISED?  They got caught.  They had to shut it down.  And just like a fucked up version of Whack-A-Mole, another site popped up.

“Some of the postings were of nude females that appeared to be passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions,” a detective wrote in an affidavit included with a January search warrant application. “It appears from the photos provided that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken.”

The police said the images provided by the man, whom The New York Times is not naming, “only showcase a small fraction of the posts on the page.”

The man told the police that although 2.0 was relatively new, the conduct that was its foundation was not. A similar website, called “Covert Business Transactions” and connected to Kappa Delta Rho, had been a clearinghouse for similar images until last year, when a woman who appeared topless in a photograph learned about the page and hastened its end.

“The new page, 2.0, was created shortly after” and grew to include 144 members, the affidavit said.

Forgive me if I roll my eyes as I did yesterday during my snowy commute home when I heard President Behrend claim that they might have to “rethink” the entire fraternity system.  I heard the same shit when I was a student there pre-Internet. I think that is code for, “hey, Pan-Hel members, get out your checkbooks and make sure your ‘voice’ is heard.”

Close the fraternity.  Kick every user of the page out of the school. Or at least put them on probation until you find out who drugged what girls.  And who took the pictures.  And who looked at them.  If this tears down the fraternity system, so be it.  As I said in a jury room once, “Don’t act like an asshole and you won’t have to face the consequences.”

The Sigma Alpa Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma showcased its racialized awfulness of these cesspools of male privilege.  SAE doesn’t have the greatest reputation, as Slate reports here.

A video that surfaced online Sunday showed members of the University of Oklahoma chapter singing a song that has managed to both “embarrass” the fraternity and echo its segregationist roots.

“There will never be a nigger at SAE,” the students sang to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” while dressed in formal attire and riding a bus. “You can hang him from a tree, but he’ll never sign with me. There will never be a nigger at SAE.”

Sing with me:

If you oppress and you know it, clap your hands.

You can chant and you can rape, you can kill and you can hate.

If you oppress and you know it, clap your hands.

So when looking up that story, I found this one that happened overnight.

Pi Kappa Phi of North Carolina State did the Greek system proud when they produced a pledge book rife with racial and gendered slurs.

“It will be short and painful, just like when I rape you,” read one statement in the book, according to the WRAL report.

“That tree is so perfect for lynching,” reads another.

Hey, thanks guys for delivering a story that brings together the two issues.  I really appreciate the work you are doing to make my writing sound.  Now run off to that mandatory meeting about race and gender that you will now be required to attend.

It isn’t a bad week to be Greek, as this article states that reviews all of the awfulness that we know about.  Greece needs to fall. I am tired of this.  I went to a frat party as a first-year student.  I got MACED.  I now consider myself lucky that that is all that happened to me.

In more college news, my blessed students couldn’t wait to ask me if I had seen the picture floating around Facebook over break (again, I quit FB months ago, but I like that they are keeping me in the loop).

We pulled this up on the screen, a perfect fit to our reading on rape culture.

There are “two types of women”:

328485

Get it.  Women are only their vaginas.  And you are either tight or sloppy.  Hysterical.  Little did my students know that they were giving me the perfect image to use to discuss the pervasiveness of rape culture.

They also told me about this movie.  I think they have a secret competition to see who can make my head explode the most quickly.  I love it.  They are making connections.

I give you the movie DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend).  I am sorry that I am not posting any positive news this week, but I don’t want to sully the good work people are doing with the shit storm of awful in this digest.

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7 comments

  1. So much awful. You summarize it well. I particularly enjoy your new version of that song. I also agree with you that it is time to end the Greek system on campuses…too many of them cause, participate in, and tolerate rape culture and discrimination (and hate). Tear it down.

    1. Thanks for reading!

  2. Just a Two-Center · · Reply

    Reblogged this on Just A Two-Center and commented:
    Again, Dr. Clemens gives us an in your face reality check. Pay attention people! The patriarchal hegemony is alive and well as Dr. C has shown us with this awesome post. It won’t give you warm fuzzies and will probably make you mad as hell, but this is what is happening at college campuses and it is so heartbreaking. Thank you Dr. Clemens for all the work you do. It takes only one person to incite change. I read a great article about that which I will be posting more about after coffee.

  3. Just a Two-Center · · Reply

    Great post Dr. C; heart wrenching news. As I said in a comment when I reblogged this, the patriarchal hegemony is alive and well in a nation that is supposed to be one that provides the greatest amount of freedoms in the world. Lady Liberty is crying this morning as she stands at the helm. Hasn’t PSU learned thier lesson? First it’s the whole Paterno disaster and now this. Everyone involved with 2.0 should be expelled. That’s it. No suspensions, no sugar-coated bullshit. And for the rest of the Greeks, I have one message: stop being a bunch of assholes and value and respect others. You are in college. Use your experience and all of the knowledge your profs provide and learn how to be a caring, compassionate member of society.
    Thanks again Dr. C. I appreciate all you do and how hard you work.

    1. Thank you for reading!

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