Texas Tech Fraternity Stripped of Charter After ‘No Means Yes’ Sign Incident
The Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, has been stripped of its charter after images of a party featuring disturbing signs surfaced last month.
An investigation was launched after photos of signs which read "No Means Yes" and "Yes Means Anal" appeared on sites such as Bro Bible. Texas Tech and the national chapter of Phi Delta Theta investigated the signs, which were featured at a hurricane-themed party. (There was also something there called a "vagina sprinkler" that I really wish I'd never seen photos of.)
The Texas Tech chapter was suspended during the investigation, and earlier this month other students on the Texas Tech campus staged a protest against rape culture at the university by hanging signs that read "No Means No" around campus.
On Monday, Phi Delta Theta announced the action that it would take against the Texas Tech chapter in a statement on their website:
Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity has placed the charter of the Texas Epsilon Chapter in escrow and removed from membership any individuals who directly violated organizational policy or were in a position of chapter leadership. These actions occurred immediately following the investigation regarding inappropriate signage at an unsanctioned chapter event held September 19.
The remaining members will have all activities limited to education in the areas of sexual assault prevention and bystander behavior, improving chapter operations, community service and philanthropic activities.
Other sanctions against the chapter include an assessment that will fund the aforementioned bystander education for the entire Texas Tech Greek Community and will help implement sexual assault prevention education locally and throughout Phi Delta Theta. The chapter will additionally provide over 10,000 hours of community service to organizations who are dedicated to rape crisis and sexual assault prevention.
The statement also included a quote from Phi Delta Theta's Associate Executive Vice President, Sean Wagner:
When reviewing this reprehensible behavior, there was a clear lack of leadership that created an environment that was disrespectful to women. The disciplinary actions ensure that any individuals who were directly involved or failed to fulfill their obligation to act in the best interest of the organization are no longer involved with Texas Epsilon. Part of our mission within Phi Delta Theta is to educate, and the intent of the comprehensive education offered is to empower remaining members with knowledge to help fight sexual assault at Texas Tech and other college campuses.
I know a lot of times when we read stories like this, we end up thinking "well, they're only doing what they're doing because they got caught", but in this case, I'm inclined to believe what Phi Delta Theta is saying.
Why? Well, because the national chapter of Phi Delta Theta was recently in the news for being part of a coalition of eight fraternities that are working together to stop binge drinking, hazing and sexual assault.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, there are resources and services available to you through the YWCA West Central Michigan. If you are in immediate danger or feel unsafe, you can call the YWCA 24-Hour Confidential Crisis Line 616.776.RAPE (616.776.7273). If you have been assaulted, please call 911 immediately.