UVM Fraternity Suspended Over Alleged ‘Rape Survey’

BURLINGTON, Vt. (CBS/AP) — A University of Vermont fraternity has been suspended while officials investigate allegations that it circulated a survey that asked members who they would like to rape.

University officials say the survey question for members of Sigma Phi Epsilon was “incredibly offensive and inappropriate.”

According to CBS affiliate WCAX, The SigEp survey starts with typical questions: name, major, favorite memories.

But, the final question drew the eye of the UVM administration. It reads: “If I could rape someone, who would it be?”

School officials say a student reported the survey to the university over the weekend. The school says it contacted the national fraternity and campus police to determine if any crimes have been committed.

The school is investigating where the survey came from, who saw it and how it was used.

Annie Stevens, who oversees student and campus life at UVM says the school decided to temporarily suspend the fraternity which is already on probation for alcohol violations.

“Nothing social, nothing formal as a chapter, they can still live in the house, but no chapter activities can take place,” she said.

Women’s groups on campus have already received nearly 1,000 signatures on a petition to get rid of the brotherhood. They’re also hosting a rally to support their cause Thursday.

Members of the Vermont chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon would not discuss the allegations.

The national Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity said in a statement it has instructed the chapter to cease all operation, pending further investigation.

“Any behavior that demeans women is not tolerated by the fraternity,” the statement read in part.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • swim69

    This story is all the more disturbing given what happened to UVM student Michelle Gardner-Quinn not even a few years ago! Come on – disgraceful – get rid of the fraternity. I am in complete agreement with the University Administration, the women’s groups on campus, and ALL of the people who are offended. Kick them off campus. Shameful.

    • boys willl be boys

      You people are so sensitive. It was a survey that was obviously a joke. Not everything needs to be such a god-damned big deal. Get on with your lives and let kids be kids. Now, if this was a story about a UVM kidnapping and raping nuns and small school children, this would be a totally different story, but as it is, it’s just another case of people getting all pissed off for no reason and blowing a lot of hot air out of their asses.

      • http://takenbythewinddf.wordpress.com TakenBytheWind

        Just because it was meant in jest- does not mean it’s ok. Or funny.

        Why do boys have be the kind of boys who dehumanize rape? Why couldn’t it have been a consensual fantasy not a criminal violent one? Using the world “score/sleep with” etc wouldn’t have bothered me but trivializing a violent act is not funny or acceptable. Or honorable.

        No one could say “if you could lynch a person of any race who would it be?” and this question is in the same vein- if you could commit a violent crime against a woman – who would the woman be?

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