By Miriam Raftery
November 24, 2014 (San Diego) Updated November 25, 2014—A group calling itself “Concerned students of San Diego State University” has sent a letter to SDSU’s president, state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown urging an end to “rape culture.”
There have been at least seven reported rapes on campus in the fall 2014 semester, including five at fraternities, but no one has been arrested in any of those cases.
The letter states that during a Take Back the Night march Friday, November 21st to protest sexism and sexual violence, marchers passing fraternity houses were subjected to sexist insults and were hit by eggs thrown at them, possibly from passing cars. Fraternity members at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house reportedly yelled obscenities at marchers and men at the Delta Sigma Phi frat house waved dildos at marchers.
The next night, a female student was sexually assaulted while attending a party at a fraternity in the same block on Hardy Avenue.
“This is rape culture," the letter states,adding that efforts by the campus administration have been “woefully ineffective.”
The students demand that the administration take bold action. Specifically, the letter calls on SDSU to follow the lead of the University of Virginia and immediately suspend and close down all fraternities until they can be made safe. “If they cannot be made safe, they should be closed permanently. SDSU President Elliot Hirshman is an honorary member of the ALPHA EPSILON PI, and his son is a member of the nowsuspended chapter of ALPHA EPSILON PI at the University of Virginia, so this action should not be unfamiliar,” the letter states.
The students also ask that SDSU’s Sexual Assault Task Force be expanded and claims that the only student regularly attending those meetings is a white male fraternity member. Students want to see the task force include “women, queer folk, people of color” and other disadvantaged groups.
In addition, the group asks that the campus leadership fully support a Reporting Ap created by several campus women’s groups.
The Concerned Students concluded that SDSU should “spare no expense” in these efforts, if need be, asking President Hirshman, who is paid $412,000 a year, to donate one or both of his recent raises.