Investigation of Acacia pulls the fraternity, rape culture and Greek life under the spotlight

The pamphlet that OU Student Union handed out informing freshmen

The pamphlet that OU Student Union handed out informing freshmen “do not go to the blue house”

Since the end of October, the Ohio University chapter of Acacia fraternity has been ordered to cease-and-desist from any organizational activity until the ongoing university investigation on accusations against the fraternity end.

On the evening of October 28, a video was posted to Twitter by Olivia Hitchcock, a staff member of The Post, which showed members of Acacia standing on the porch of the Alpha Delta Pi house serenading Alpha Delta Pi members with a sexually suggestive version of a Beatles classic.

The song was to the tune of “Hey Jude.” Hitchcock tweeted that the men were singing “Send nudes, don’t let me down. Take my soft dick and make it harder.”

Hitchcock later tweeted that Alpha Delta Pi said the video was “taken out of context,” but would not elaborate further on the issue.

Members of the OU chapter of Acacia and Alpha Delta Pi are unable to comment on the issue.

Acacia is currently under investigation by its national chapter as of November 4. Executive director of Acacia Fraternity, Inc. Pat McGovern told the Athens News that they are aware of and fully support the university’s investigation, “Acacia headquarters has begun its own investigation as well and is prepared to take appropriate disciplinary action.”

“We do not condone the actions captured in the video. It is clear the men in this case did not exercise good judgement or uphold Acacia’s standards,” McGovern said.

This is not the first time that Acacia has been investigated by the university. In August 2015 the OU Student Union handed out a pamphlet to incoming freshmen accusing the Acacia Fraternity of being “notorious for drugging their free drinks and raping girls.”

Last November, Fuck Rape Culture, a local advocacy group, created an online petition to ban the fraternity. The petition, which alleged that girls’ drinks have been drugged at Acacia’s “Blue House” on Court Street, received more than 1,000 signatures.

The investigation that followed did not result in any charges or notices of university policy violations.

According to the Athens News, Acacia’s national organization denied the sexual assault claims and wrote that it “has placed the issue of campus sexual assault at the forefront of our educational programming, to promote the safety and well-being of all students in the communities in which we exist.”

After the investigation in August, OU student Whitney Hatano published “An Open Letter To the Men of Ohio University’s Acacia Fraternity,” stating that “[the fraternity is] so much more than what these hideous rumors are making [them] out to be. Your chapter’s pride in brotherhood, leadership, philanthropy and academics is admirable, and I wish more people would recognize that about Acacia.”

However, after the recent activities of the fraternity, many students have become upset with Acacia and Greek life in general.

“I think frats in general need to be regulated and have people watch over them more. Frats on college campuses have the highest level of sexual assaults and tapes and I think that’s pretty ridiculous. People need to start paying more attention to these issues” said senior sociology student Madeline Stecz.

As the ongoing investigation on OU’s Acacia chapter and the subsequent buzz continues around campus, it has attracted national attention, leading many people to look at the bigger picture: rape culture on college campuses, specifically in Greek life.

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