Stupid fraternity tricks: Asking members, “Who would you like to rape?”

A University of Vermont fraternity is garnering national condemnation for a survey that included this question: “If you could rape someone, who would it be?”

Among those commenting on the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter survey is Brian Warren, the frat’s national executive director, who told the Burlington, Vt., Free Press: “I was shocked — praying the allegations were not true. We will not tolerate this behavior. This is not a theme throughout the country. This is very unique in my two years.”

According to the Burlington Free Press:

A survey that asked fraternity members at the University of Vermont about their preferred rape victim, allegedly circulated by members of Sigma Phi Epsilon, has resulted in the fraternity’s suspension and a visit from its national headquarters, according to university officials.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon survey question was: “If you could rape someone, who would it be?” according to an email from the organization FedUp Vermont and several online blogs. Other blogs listed slightly different wording.

In a follow-up story, the Free Press reported:

The survey is the latest problem for the fraternity, which was placed this fall on social probation for an underage drinking incident at the Main Street house in October, according to records obtained Wednesday by the Free Press. Sig Ep was not allowed to hold events the rest of the semester.

UVM officials have said it was unclear who wrote the survey, whether the survey was sent out or whether anybody responded. The university, including its police department, and the national headquarters for Sigma Phi Epsilon continued their investigations Wednesday into the rape survey allegations.

Warren said one-on-one interviews with each of the 50 members at the fraternity house, at 371 Main St. in Burlington, were ongoing. The goal was “to better understand what went on,” Warren said. Warren said the allegations, if true, go against everything the national headquarters and its members stand for.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

53 comments Add your comment

V for Vendetta

December 15th, 2011
11:57 am

Frat boys acting like knuckle-dragging morons? Again, what a shocker.


December 15th, 2011
12:35 pm

Stupid media tricks: Learning nothing from the Duke lacrosse fiasco and rushing to judgment.


December 15th, 2011
12:43 pm

99% of men in fraternities are more intelligent than V for Vendetta.

V for Vendetta

December 15th, 2011
1:38 pm


Sorry Greek boy. Did my comment hit too close to home? I knew more than a few frat boys when I was in school. They were mostly (a generalization, I know), binge drinking obsessed animals that would hump a table leg if they could.


December 15th, 2011
2:16 pm

V for Vendetta, what makes your atereotyping and offensive comments any different from the bullying fraternities are constantly charged with? This unfortunate but isolated incident. I would call your generalizing of the fraternal insritution as a group of animalistic alcoholics cyber bullying and behavior much worse than that you accuse greek life of possessing.

Ole Guy

December 15th, 2011
2:40 pm

V, while your comment may be “upsetting” to Brian, it, nonetheless, hits a social nerve. The vast number of frats out there (at least used to, at one time, long long ago) serve useful purposes, in terms of professional/social services and development. That being said, the “crazy stuff” always has; always will be an integral component of frat life.

This rape question (back in the free-love 60s, it may have been “who would you like to…rymes with luck…” however, is way way out of line, and reflects an openly-public moral decline probably unknown since the Roman Empire. Inasmuch as the thought…much less the act…of rape signifies a lust for personal power rather than the desire to go “HEin’ an’ SHEin’, one has to wonder just what it’s like to grow up in uncertain times. While uncertainty is, and always has been, a part of the socioeconomic landscape, the key issue…at least in my ole mind…is COPING.

Young men, I would imagine, have not been taught the “skill” of coping. This all goes back to my previous arguements regarding the need to restore corporal punishment within the schools. ONLY by experiencing the “sting” of consequence, at a young age, can a kid develop any sense of discipline and self-control. A comment, such as the above rape comment, would have surely drawn…at a minimum…castigation from peers; quite possibly, an on-the-spot “sporting event” initiated by one who may disapprove of such idiocy. With the ample supply of drive-in movies, “parking” spots, and, of course, young ladies, the question of “forceable liaison” would never have been an issue to even contemplate, much less vocalize.

Sure, as young men, we pulled (probably) more than our fair share of nonesense. However, it was almost always accompanied (and somewhat modulated) by the certainty that there lurked, somewhere around the corner, a degree of consequence. Unfortunately, this has been completely removed from the lives/from the very psyche of today’s young men…and should serve as a wake up call to restore any-and-all means of reintroducing the concept of CONSEQUENCE to a generation which seems to find life on the slippery slope par for the course.


December 15th, 2011
4:33 pm

In defense of V and support of OleGuy: I would add the feminisation of boys in early grades contributes as well. Boys need to be allowed to be boys. Yes, that means perhaps a punch on the playground or retaliation to a bully. That means maybe that can’t sit still in class all the time – and that’s OK – no need for Ritalin. And maybe a stick really can be a substitute for a gun in a game of cowboys and indians.

bootney farnsworth

December 15th, 2011
5:20 pm

if this turns out to be true as presented, then the school should toss the chuklehead(s) who came up with the question out the door.

the only reason the frat et al should be punished is if they have a long history of stupid behavior and were already on probabation

Tom in California

December 15th, 2011
5:21 pm

Kind of surprising to read so many comments making excuses for this conduct. Wake up, folks! Rape is no joke, nor is it a harmless rite of passage for young guys. Time to put a padlock on that house!

bootney farnsworth

December 15th, 2011
5:30 pm


when I was in college, that description could match almost every guy I knew – greek affiliation or not

V for Vendetta

December 15th, 2011
6:22 pm


Good point, but it doesnt absolve the frat rats.


Good lord, are you serious? When I was in college, one of the frats on campus was shut down because a (bound and gagged!) pledge was killed in a car accident because he was riding unbuckled in the back of an SUV. Did I mention that he was bound and gagged? That kind of nonsense seems to be uniquely associated with many frats. Though bootney is correct to assert that such shenanigans take place in ALL aspects of college life, to call such an incident “isolated” in terms of greek life is just plain stupid.

And cyber bullying? Seriously?

Laura Quickfoot

December 15th, 2011
8:18 pm

Stupid Fraternity tricks? That’s what you think this is? How about extreme misogyny?
1 in 4 college women are raped.


December 15th, 2011
9:03 pm

Is anyone else fed up with the “boys will be boys” mentality? Can’t we work toward “boys will be gentlemen?” What is going on in this society? I know two young men with arrest records who made Eagle Scout! What happened to standards?

S. GA Teacher - Fraternity Member

December 16th, 2011
7:07 am

I was a twice fraternity president. Our pledge manual had important things in it like how to tie a tie, set a formal dining set and other things such as that. My men went to class, studied, maintained grades first, then had a good time. I maintained a 3.0 GPA.
Most of us had a steady GF so there was never a big issue with this, not that it would have been tolerated under any circumstances.
While I can see and do agree with the majority of the negative press the Greek system gets, it has done lots for me and my family. Your mileage may vary.

a reader

December 16th, 2011
7:17 am

I’m going to agree wtih Ole Guy and take it a step further with an example that will probably annoy / anger some folks. Why do we as mothers, wives and girlfriends tolerate behavior that puts our sons / husbands / boyfriends at risk for all sorts of consequences? Why is it okay to have strippers at parties / go to strip clubs and then be shocked when there are allegations of bad behavior? Okay, the NC lawyer probably should have done better due diligance before charging the Duke boys, but if their behavior had been beyond reproach it also wouldn’t have been an issue. The lack of respect for women that is tolerated *by* women makes my head spin. I just don’t get it. Something’s lacking in how these boys are being raised both at home and by society in general.


December 16th, 2011
7:39 am

The problem is the our society has been we have disregarded the family unit. My college age son and daughter will hopefully emulate with their girlfriends/boyfriends the way they see I treat their mother. There are so many absent dads that boys grow up not knowing how to treat a lady.

Obviously the thought originated from someone, and with the mentality of the group that posted the question surely someone would be willing to give them (the deep thinker: yea right) up rather than face being expelled. (Remember there is no honor among thieves: idiots should be put in the same category)

I guess what I’m saying is that as fathers our sons should see us treating our wives with love and respect, then chances are they will grow up and do the same. I have a son college and I can say without a shadow of a doubt he would have never participate is such barbaric behavior.


December 16th, 2011
7:43 am

Laura Quickfoot-1-4 women are raped in college- what kind of liberal, left-wing extremist website did you gather that fact from? You do realize that 1-4 equates to 25% of all college women. 25% of all college women are raped? Rape is a horrible issue and certainly happens more than it should, but at least use facts that are correct.


December 16th, 2011
7:46 am

There is a male world and a female world. The two are vastly different. Men shake their heads and go on with life. Women try to figure out why men just take action and move on. When men are twarted in taking action they go on or elsewhere for the activity. Women are wondering why.


December 16th, 2011
8:15 am

Always thought frat boys are a bunch of gangsters with money. Boys who can’t think for themselves and afraid to run alone and that is why they conformed in order to run in a pack! Losers!


December 16th, 2011
8:15 am

Always thought frat boys are a bunch of gangsters with money. Boys who can’t think for themselves and afraid to run alone and that is why they conformed in order to run in a pack! Losers!


December 16th, 2011
8:19 am

That is only harmless utterings by some fellas trying to voice their frustrations over not being able to make the transformation from children to adults. There is no place for fraternities in colleges. They are counterproductive to the scholastic goal of learning and developing life skills. They,instead develop a “herd mentality” heading one way then another. All the time hoping that the herd will end up someplace decadent and depraved. good ole phisig.


December 16th, 2011
8:32 am

We are big on (names). Just because you are in any particular groups, that don’t make you any better than those that are not. Question such as the above should never enter the minds of these fraternities; if you have to be in or asked something of that nature, that is a “big red flag” and you should go the other way. Names are just that, names that involving yourself in them might get you time in prison if you are accused of doing stupid things. It is just not worth it.


December 16th, 2011
8:46 am

All these whiny comments…sounds like most of you are still bitter about not getting a bid! Look these guys live in Vermont, I think they have bigger problems than a question posed on a survey. What do people in Vermont have to do for fun other than make surveys, make Apple Cider?
Quit your crying and realize what good fraternities have done for this nation. 48% of the Presidents, 42% of Senators, and 30% of Congressmen were all in a fraternity. A majority of all Fortune 500 companies have a CEO that was a fraternity man.

Sorry for not being sorry. We are better than you…and we know it!


December 16th, 2011
8:47 am

“1 in 4 college women are raped.”

Ummm… that’s a pretty big number. I’ve got some doubt about that being true.


December 16th, 2011
8:49 am

For all of the good deeds done by the Greek System, they do not absolve the bad deeds done behind close doors. All girls know how dangerous it is to go to a frat party on campus. The excuse boys will be boys is total BS. The frat ‘boys’ are 18 so legally that makes them men. There is a line and it is often crossed by frats.


December 16th, 2011
8:53 am

Nelson, to say fraternities have no place in colleges is a pretty ignorant statement. Granted, what the guys did in this particular fraternity is despicable and completely acceptable, but there are plenty of other fraternities out there that serve the greater good on campuses nationwide. As an example, in my four years, my chapter raised over $100k for Children’s Miracle Network, held Adopt A Highway clean ups 4 times a year, and a few of us volunteered our time with the local Jaycees. We had quite a few members who were involved in FCA, student gov’t, homecoming committees, etc. And we did all of this without ever having any trouble like described above.

Call it like it is

December 16th, 2011
8:55 am

Being in a fraternity is like any other organization. You have good ones and you have bad ones. To try and paint all fraternities as drunken “frat” boys is silly and just showing ones ignorance. Its very obvious that many posting here have some pent up issues regarding them. One can only assume they did not meet standards and were not accepted, or maybe a fraternity member took their girlfriend away, who knows.

My fraternity was very active in the community; we volunteer for big brothers/big sisters of Atlanta, help with make a wish, collect money for the salvation army and even started a scholarship fund for outstanding high school students. It has been 20 years since I graduated and I stay in touch with all of them. It has helped my personal life as well as my business life. And even to this day we still try to help our community as a group, this year we are collecting Toys for Tots. I wonder how many of you “lone” wolfs are doing anything for your community.

In any case a bad cop doesn’t make for a bad police force, just as a bad fraternity doesn’t make for a bad greek system.


December 16th, 2011
8:56 am

“All girls know how dangerous it is to go to a frat party on campus.”

Good grief, it ain’t a shady alley in Mexico. Some of you are losing the big picture here. Every group of people has their bad apples. I’m not condemning all frats because of this. Every church congregation has a creep… or worse. Every political party has corrupt jack@$$’s. I’m even wondering if the word used was actually “rape”. I could see them asking who they would like to have sex with, but I’ve seen a lot of menly things in my life and we have never talked about who we want to rape. For all you know this may of been a rival frat setting them up, or a disgruntled member, who knows. I probably wont think about this story again and chances are it will dissapear because it won’t have any legs to continue forward.


December 16th, 2011
9:03 am

“FrattaFabulous” is typical rah, rah frat boy! Yeah, he said frat boys will eventually become congressmen and Presidents…. With dirt bags like Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and so many other douche bags in Washington I would not mention them both in a same breath.


December 16th, 2011
9:08 am

“Fratsucks” – I really wanted to point out how you are making yourself sound like a dork who sat in his dorm on Friday nights eating Easy Mac while playing Mortal Combat. But the fact that you are a conservative negates all that, I feel like we could be friends. How do you feel about frilly toothpicks on club sandwiches? I love them.


December 16th, 2011
9:12 am

I want to be in a fox hole with anybody who can think independently and watch my back ( not watching my back like Barney Frank kinda way)

Sen. Blutarsky

December 16th, 2011
9:13 am

I am thinking Toga party.

Otter was the man

December 16th, 2011
9:36 am

Cmon… they go into those houses looking for hookups (remember its the future where women want sex too!!!), wanting to hang out with the top TOP 1%, and wanting to have a blast with the coolest kids on campus.

Sorry for partying.


December 16th, 2011
9:39 am

If Fratsucks will take the time to log-off World of Warcraft and get out in public to meet some actual people, he’ll find Fraternity men aren’t all that bad. I’ll offer to meet him out for lunch and answer any questions he may have……of course, I’ll have to pay for the lunch though…

D for Dumbass

December 16th, 2011
9:41 am

Nuff said. Stop your ajc blog withhunt before you end the greek system entirely. Please!!!


December 16th, 2011
9:41 am

As a prank, I wouldn’t put it against someone putting the frats name on the survey JUST to stir the pot. It’s a very sad that the majority of people will read this and make a judgement before the complete story is out.

Stuart Smalley

December 16th, 2011
9:43 am

“D for Dumbass” -do you need a hug?

V for Virgin

December 16th, 2011
9:44 am

May we dance with your dates?

mystery poster

December 16th, 2011
9:49 am

Urgh… It’s Greek, not greek.

Title 1 Teacher

December 16th, 2011
9:49 am

The statistic is actually 1 in 4 women will be raped in their lifetime. A good portion of those rapes occur before the age of 25 and will be perpetrated by husbands or boyfriends.

Pounding Voj

December 16th, 2011
9:53 am

I went to school with Fratsucks. He sat in the back of the class and smelled of elderberries.

Crybabies Stay Home

December 16th, 2011
9:54 am

Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!


December 16th, 2011
10:20 am

I didn’t get a bid and was a failure for the rest of my life. The End.

A person SMART enough to know......

December 16th, 2011
1:05 pm

plenty of women have rape fantasies the frat boys were just stupid to put it in writing.


December 16th, 2011
3:03 pm

As the mother of boys, I worry about the girls holding the “cards” — the girl dressy in provocative ways and sends signals that my boys maybe don’t read too well..or about the case I heard about a year or so ago — a guy goes on a date with a gal, they have a good time, they go back to one of their places, have a nice time, then she goes home but he doesn’t call back. A month later, she’s got 2nd thoughts and is mad that he didn’t call back and swears out the police report — all of a sudden it’s rape and he’s got to prove otherwise. Or what about the Duke Lacrosse case where 2 of the guys who were charged weren’t even at the party — there’s wasn’t a rape by the guys who were present and even the guys who weren’t present had to prove themselve innocent. Then there was the case of the pizza guy who called the cops in Tennessee when the gal was in cuffs when he delivered the pizza — the man and woman were having an affair and she like cuffs and set him up- she liked calling the cops on guys. So, yes, guys do rape girls but how accurate is the 1 in 4 statistic, really? And, just, how do I do a good job protecting my boys for girls who aren’t always entirely truthful or who don’t always realize just what signals they are sending off? Ever hear of the campus “hook ups” going on?

Top School

December 16th, 2011
8:24 pm

I can’t answer that question…

But, I can tell you who is screwing Atlanta…
and Beverly Hall was part of the ORGY.


December 16th, 2011
10:14 pm

The 1 in 4 statistic includes sexual assault and harassment including “unwanted attention”. LQ is just repeating an erroneous headline without reading the full study.

james murphy

December 17th, 2011
9:48 am

Wait a second,
Although distasteful these are immature men playing a prank and in need of correction not crusifiction, put it perspective as a prank not a homicide and get on with life : its a learning opportunity
for young men in need of correction. Girls who are rightly offended view it for what it is and get a little tougher skin ; these are not serial killers

Tim Simms

December 17th, 2011
11:00 pm

I did a simple google search which returned several studies claiming that 1 in 4 college women are victims of rape.

Good Mother

December 18th, 2011
12:59 pm

In defense of V for Vendetta…

Lists like those “who would you like to rape?” are common. I’ve been grabbed, pushed around and mauled at frat houses. Not all frat boys are creeps but the culture of drinking far too much and treating women like play toys is common.

One of the fraternities on my college campus got a girl drunk, stripped her naked and then put her in the trophy case. She was passed out when they did that to her. Word spread and she was a laughing stock and left school. Nothing ever happened to the “men” behaving like creeps.

It was a big joke to the frat boys.

Yeah, V for Vendetta isn’t making this stuff up.