A number of sexually suggestive signs hanging from a fraternity’s balcony at Old Dominion University have sparked outrage as well as the suspension of the fraternity.
The signs, which could be seen hanging from the balcony of the off-campus house as freshmen arrived on campus for the year, read, “Rowdy and fun, hope your baby girl is ready for a good time,” “Freshman Daughter Drop Off” and “Go ahead and Drop Off Mom Too…” It is unknown who owns the house, but it is inhabited by a number of Sigma Nu fraternity members.
While the signs are no longer hanging, a photo depicting them has been circulating on a number of social media sites, writes Elisha Fieldstadt for NBC News. While the Facebook post has since been deleted, a screenshot of the image was captured by the Huffington Post.
The Sigma Nu chapter at the school has since been suspended as the school conducts an investigation into the incident. “Any fraternity member found to be responsible for this reprehensible display will be held accountable by the fraternity,” said Brad Beacham, the Executive Director of Sigma Nu’s national headquarters.
In a separate statement, university president John B. Broderick said, “Our students, campus community and alumni have been offended,” adding that one freshman student had thought about leaving the school because of the signs until she saw how offended the rest of the campus was as well.
A video statement was released over the weekend by the school’s Student Government Association in response to the incident. “Not only do these actions taken by a few individuals undermine the countless efforts at Old Dominion University to prevent sexual assault, they are also unwelcoming, offensive, and unacceptable,” the association said in an accompanying written statement.
“I think the perception that was there was that this is not a welcoming environment, and that we do not take an approach to combat sexual assault, which is not true,” said Chris Ndiritu, student government president.
Sexual assault against women on college campuses has received attention nationwide over the last few years. While a number of states, including California and New York, have implemented a “yes means yes” policy for sexual interactions on campus, critics believe this move could cause men to be more readily accused of sexual assault for situations where they may have in fact acted after consent.
The Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education recently opened investigations into over 100 colleges and universities pertaining to their handling of sexual assault complaints on campus. Old Dominion is not currently included in that list of schools.