A photo of a Slippery Rock University fraternity posing in front of a sign reading, “Thank you fathers for your freshman daughters” recently went viral on several websites, some calling it an example of rape culture.
Old Dominion University’s Sigma Nu fraternity was suspended in August for hanging similar signs off of their fraternity house, one of the signs designated the house as a “freshman daughter drop off.” In an act of protest at Sigma Nu’s suspension, totalfratmove.com published the photo of SRU’s Sigma Tau Gamma in front of their fraternity house at 129 Kiester Rd. Total Frat Move also published similar photos from fraternities at other schools, the author asking “Can people not take a joke anymore?”
The photo was then used by the Huffington Post in an article entitled “It’s Not Just ODU Students Putting Up Offensive Signs About Freshman Girls.” Additionally, the Sig Tau photo was used by the website mic.com, saying that the banners “Reveal fraternity rape culture at its worst.”
When the photo wasn’t identified in any of the websites as being from SRU, but some current and former students recognized the house and shared the articles on Facebook.
Executive director of public affairs, Rita Abent, said that the story is old, and no longer relevant because the incident was quickly remedied.
“[The photo] keeps circulating on the Internet…because people see it and without knowing the backstory, push it out to their friends, who then continue the cycle,” she said.
The photo was taken several years ago, and assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, and supervisor of Greek affairs, N. Charles Judge, asked the fraternity to permanently take down the sign at the time. When the photo resurfaced, Judge spoke with the fraternity, and contacted the national office.
“[Everyone] was mortified,” Abent said. “This is a prime example of why people need to be concerned when they post material on the Internet. It just never goes away.”
Sigma Tau Gamma did not respond to requests for a quote on the topic.
Does anyone care? This isn’t an example of rape culture but a simple and cliched joke sign. This article is irrelevant and unnecessary whilst adding nothing to the discourse. So why perpetuate the so-called “cycle” and even make this news?