The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is shutting down a frat house that was already on probation while it investigates an alleged rape that has led to huge protests on campus for two nights in a row.
The incident took place Monday between 11.30pm and midnight at the Phi Gamma Delta frat house, according to the university police crime log. It was reported shortly after at 3.47 am Tuesday, and word spread quickly through social media.
Lincoln station KOLN reports that the victim was a 17-year-old sorority girl, though this has not been confirmed by police or the university. Cops are investigating, but no arrests have been made.
By Tuesday night, nearly 1,000 students had gathered outside the fraternity mere hours after the rape was reported, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star, calling for the school to ban the organization for good.
Video circulating on social media purports to show members of the frat peeking out of their blinds and laughing at the protesters outside as they chant the name of the alleged perpetrator.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has temporarily suspended the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, above, after an alleged rape took place inside their frat house Monday night
Very large protest outside the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), across the street from the UNL Student Union. R Street closed from 16th to 14th, as LPD & UNLPD are just overseeing at least 1,000 students here.@LLCScanner @1011_News pic.twitter.com/TunjQ0bsoI
— Ryan Swanigan (@TheRyanSwanigan) August 25, 2021
Video circulating on social media purports to show members of the frat house laughing as crowds outside chant the name of the member accused of sexual assault
Chancellor Ronnie Green said Wednesday that the university is taking the allegation ‘very seriously’ and that it will be shutting the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity – also known as Fiji – while it looks into the claims.
‘The Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fraternity at UNL is currently under probation for previous violations of university policy. We are closing the fraternity house and suspending operations of the Fiji chapter while this investigation is ongoing, due to potential violations of that probation. This is the responsible action to take for everyone involved.
‘We are committed to creating a safe campus environment for our students, faculty and staff. No one should be a victim of sexual assault or harassment, and we have taken a number of steps to provide additional support and reporting mechanisms for our campus.
On Tuesday, students could be heard chanting, ‘No means no!’ outside of the frat house, which is located directly across the student union.
A woman with a bullhorn said: ‘Women are not protected on this campus.’
Crowds could be seen spilling over to the student union across the street, where people sat on the large concrete staircase leading up to the building.
No arrests have been made in the case as of Wednesday night.
The allegation is the 103rd rape or attempted rape reported to UNL police since 2005, says the Journal-Star. It’s also the 78th such incident reported since 2015.
Eight hours after the alleged rape at the Fiji house, university police received a report of a different rape at the Abel Hall building, which houses ‘many of the First Year Learning Communities,’ according to the university.
Chancellor Ronnie announced the temporary shutdown Wednesday following huge protests
A petition to ban Phi Gamma Delta from campus gathered 134,000 signatures by Wednesday
A commenter on the petition said they’ve been assaulted by a member of the same frat
A Change.org petition to ban the Fiji fraternity ‘forever’ was started Tuesday night. It has since gathered more than one s134,000 signatures – more than five times the number of students at UNL.
A comment on the petition states: ‘I was sexually assaulted by a FIJI member when I was an undergraduate student. I know numerous others who were raped and molested by FIJI members. We ALL took it to Title IX and discouraged us from taking our assaults to the police. These assailants were suspended, expelled, etc., but never found ‘guilty.’ And FIJI is still there. Men like this are still there. FIJI is a petri dish for rape culture. They don’t belong in the UNL Community.’
KMTV reporter Jon Kipper tweeted that video of the Fiji members laughing was ‘LITERALLY Airdropped to people at the protest, from those in the Fiji frat…who, um…didn’t have the most productive attitude about this.’
Rob Caudill, Phi Gamma Delta’s international executive director, said the fraternity ‘does not tolerate sexual violence.’
‘The international fraternity is working with the university and will take appropriate action pending the findings of the investigation,’ he said.