On sexual assault: letters from the community

Women of UVa, boycott fraternity parties

Dear editor:

This is a call to action for all female students on Grounds. You are not powerless. Do not wait for administrators to decide things on your behalf. I encourage you to boycott all fraternity parties until their members act like true gentlemen to ensure their houses are safe for their female friends. From the parties I remember fraternity members were effective at managing who enters the parties. There are any number of measures they could take to make their parties safer for women once inside from a no-females-upstairs-during-parties policy or something similar. They should have stronger backbones than to tolerate deviant and criminal behavior among their members. In fact, they could clearly dishonor and separate themselves from any member who sexually assaults, such that it becomes code in the organization that in this fraternity we treat women with respect. Our members are not criminals. Period. I know how intelligent the men at U.Va. are, so there is so much they could do to demonstrate their concern in this regard.


I was fortunate during my four years at U.Va. to never have encountered the sort or situation described in the Rolling Stones article. I was never even aware of anyone I knew having been a victim, but is that just because they were too scared to discuss it? I hope not. The women and men I met at U.Va. and who are still my friends today are strong, intelligent and not the type to sit by and watch injustice happen.

There are many changes that can be made from ensuring sexual assault is handled through the criminal system to the administration making University policy stringent and without any appearance of covering up. But in the meantime, students themselves can demand change from the ground up. Do not attend parties where the hosts do not respect women. Fraternities themselves should be proactive and demonstrate that they will do everything possible to ensure females attending their parties are safe. It's the honorable thing to do.

Rimga Viskanta
Tri-Delt CLAS '95


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