It’s not a secret that banners can get fraternities in a butt load of trouble. Even when they aren’t really offensive, someone still finds a way to take offense. But methinks that the people at Northwestern University are taking it too far.
As you probably know, April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and lots of fraternities did some pretty great things. Which is what I assume that the fraternities at Northwestern were trying to do when they hung banners such as “This is everyone’s problem” and “Theta Chi stand against sexual assault.” Props to the dudes for taking part, right?
Not so much, according to Inside HigherEd, “Some students on campus found the signs to be in poor taste, arguing that fraternities should do more than hang banners when combating campus sexual assault.” No kidding, but isn’t this at least a good first step?
No, according to Erik Baker, the former Associated Student Government senator for four sexual health and assault-related groups, who told The Daily Northwestern, “To display a banner (saying) that ‘We support survivors’ is really something you have to earn by actually walking the walk. The idea of displaying a banner like that in front of a house where people have been assaulted before seems really in poor taste to me.”
Sigh. Can fraternities literally not win here? Sure, banners aren’t going to solve the problem. Clearly, the Northwestern IFC is aware of that — hence why they announced on Monday that they would be launching a four-year sexual assault education program for fraternities. But it’s pretty obvious that no one hung these banners with any form of malice. It was done to raise awareness. So yes, there’s a lot more fraternities can do, but can we cut these guys some slack for trying to do the right thing?.
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