UVM fraternity survey asks 'If I could rape someone, who would it be?'

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December 15, 2011, 6:19 pm
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(NECN: Jill Glavan) - A rally at the University of Vermont is targeting one of the school's fraternities.

This comes after the school suspends the group for a survey question that allegedly asked "who would you rape?"

Jill Glavan attended Thursday’s rally, and she joins us from the UVM campus.

It is the question itself and its placement among other survey questions, like "favorite artist" and "best memory" that have students and some in the community calling for the fraternity to be shut down.

With posters readied and a crowd gathered, students and others began speaking out against Sigma Phi Epsilon at UVM.

“By having this survey circulate through the brothers, it places a very serious seed in their minds; who would you rape?”

The survey, allegedly written by a member of the fraternity, was seemingly normal, except for its final question. "If I could rape someone, who would it be?"

“Rape should not be taken lightly, it shouldn't be just a question after your name and your age and your favorite memory,” said senior Ari Adelstein who joined in the rally.

Adelstein joined the crowd for what they dubbed "shatter the silence." Beyond calls that the fraternity be banned, many spoke of the need to talk about rape and gender relations in college settings.

“Sexism isn't just something women should be fighting against,” said Dave. “Sexism is a blight on our society and we all have an interest in fighting against it.”

“I think people at this point need to be shocked into realizing what they're doing,” said Annika Nilsson.

The issue was person for Nilsson.

“I was raped when I was 13,” she said. “It took me three years to figure that out, tell myself, admit it in any way.”

No member of the fraternity spoke out at the rally but a leader of the school's Greek life delivered a message.

“Rape culture is not something that can be taken lightly,” said Danielle. “It goes against everything our community stands for.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon, meanwhile, remains under suspension by UVM. It’s not enough, according to some at the rally.

“It's totally outrageous and I think actions like this have been a long time coming,” said Dave, “and I'm so excited that so many people are here ready to fight back.”

Tags: University of Vermont, rape , rally, survey, Jill Glavan, Sigma Phi Epsilon
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