SU Fraternity Suspended, Is Culture Of Greeks Changing? - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

SU Fraternity Suspended, Is Culture Of Greeks Changing?

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SALISBURY, Md. - Another Salisbury University fraternity finds itself in hot waters with the school after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced during Greek Week.

This isn't the first time that Salisbury University has suspended a fraternity.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon won't be returning to campus until at least after the summer of 2015 because of hazing allegations.

The two recent events prompted 47 ABC to look into the present day culture of frats.

A YouTube video filmed in 2008 by the North-American Interfraternity Conference, or NIC, asks the question "why should you join a fraternity?"

A voiceover in the documentary says, "a fraternity benefit provides students with leadership development opportunities while allowing them to belong to a close knit social group ."

But is the mentality changing?

"Obviously a lot of freshman come in and join fraternities thinking that they'll be able to find friends and a family away from their originally family," said Samantha Villagomez, a senior at SU. "For them to be exposed to hazing and sexual misconduct obviously bad."

Several Kappa Sigma members at Salisbury University stand accused of objectifying women in a karaoke performance for a variety show during Greek Week. According to vice president of student affairs Dane Foust, three women were reportedly subjected to "sexually graphic and demeaning behavior."

Michele Hughes, executive director at Life Crisis Center says that many fraternities have felt that they had license to allow things like the allegations at the school to happen.

"We have to make certain that our young people understand what is demeaning behavior and this is demeaning behavior," said Hughes. "When you make a woman a sex object, that's demeaning behavior.

"We are not teaching our young men that women are equals and that they ought to be valued equally. Young men need to understand what it means to be sexually demeaned, it's not a good feeling and young women are often scarred by that behavior for life."

"I just think it reflects really badly on the school and all the students in general," said Annie Brown, a freshman at SU.

Foust says that this is an interim suspension, meaning members cannot participate in activities during the investigation.

"The university takes very seriously any types of concerns of sexual harassment," said Foust.

Evan Miller is a junior in Sigma Tau Gamma and the new president for Student Government Association. He says he wasn't at the variety show during the alleged incident.

"It  was crossing the line, they may have taken it as a joke when Kappa Sigma was performing and they completely crossed the line with what they were doing," said Miller. "I definitely think what they did was inappropriate, but Greek Life as a whole, I think they do amazing things."

Director of student activities Tricia Smith agrees, citing recent events like Relay For Life.

"It worries me more that [the allegations for hazing and sexual misconduct gets] the focus," said Smith. "Yes, it's important and it does deserve focus, but so do the positive things that the students are doing."

"It's easy to look back fondly on another time and to think things were better in another time, when in fact if you look, they are not true," said Hughes.

Foust says the university hopes to finish its investigation before school let's out at the end of May.

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