September 01, 2015

SDS Condemns “Daughter Drop-Off” Signs & Sexual Violence on Campus

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stands against the sexism displayed last Friday, on August 21st, by the Sigma Nu fraternity at Old Dominion University in Virginia. Sigma Nu fraternity members hung “daughter drop-off” signs that said, “Rowdy And Fun! Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time!” and “Go ahead and drop off mom too!” SDS views this as fraternity members celebrating rape culture, and we denounce it completely.
Furthermore, SDS understands that this is a national trend. There are many fraternities whose members hung these signs across the country, sexually harassing women and proclaiming support for sexual violence. This year, Sigma Pi members at Middle Tennessee University displayed “Freshman Girl Info Center” signs, in an uncanny resemblance to the ODU case. Another big case occurred at Texas Tech, with signs hung up by Phi Delta Theta members, announcing, “No Means Yes” and “Yes Means Anal.”
There has been great backlash against these and similar cases, from parents, students, and activists. Victims have been standing up, such as the 2012 victim of Wesleyan University’s “rape factory” fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, who sued the university for inaction. At Columbia University in 2013, Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress to school everyday to illustrate the trauma of her mishandled rape case. She was one of 23 victims that year who sued Columbia University for similar mishandlings.
Nothing short of protests and public pressure has struck any blows. Old Dominion University has suspended Sigma Nu’s frat activities, but SDS understands that this is temporary. It does nothing to stop broader rape culture on campuses. SDS has always organized around this demand, with educational events and protests for mandatory sexual assault courses.
We condemn the fraternity members’ disgusting sexist attitudes. More than that, we hold campus administration responsible for largely ignoring these cases and silencing these victims. SDS will keep organizing to end rape culture, sexual violence, and patriarchy until it is no longer a reality.