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.”
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.
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