Hopkins students are really mad that their parties have been canceled after a reported rape
By By Anna Walsh
Nov 13, 2014 | 3:18 PM
Johns Hopkins University has temporarily banned frat parties, and students are freaking out.
As you may have heard, on Halloween weekend at a party at Johns Hopkins University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity house, two men reportedly raped a 16-year-old girl from Baltimore County who was attending the party with her sister. The administration quickly notified the student body about the crime, as required under the federal Clery Act, and placed SAE on interim suspension while the Baltimore Police investigate the rape and the university looks into underage drinking that happened at the fraternity.
At first the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), a student-led body that governs the fraternities on campus, voted last Monday to ban all open house parties for the rest of the semester, which, as the JHU News-Letter reports, would have still allow the fraternities to hold date parties and formals. The administration first seemed to support this decision, but then went a step further and decided to ban all fraternity social events "pending completion of an interim plan to make parties safer for our students and our guests," as administration officials wrote in an email sent out to the student body Monday morning. The email continues:
"The IFC voted unanimously to require that there be no open fraternity parties for the rest of the semester and to mandate the use of party monitors. This was a commendable step, and we in the administration thank the IFC and its leaders for taking it.
"We were encouraged by the IFC's speedy deliberation and adoption of these good-faith procedures. We also recognized, however, that in order for these measures to be effective and consistent, we need to work together on an implementation plan. There needs to be agreement, for instance, on the standards for party monitors to enforce and on training for the monitors themselves.
"The university thus informed the IFC last Thursday night that we would immediately convene an implementation team to address outstanding issues and put the proposed measures in place. We believe an implementation plan can be prepared expeditiously, and we are committed to resuming social activities as soon as possible."
Despite the promise to resume social activities "as soon as possible," students are upset at what they see as an unfair singling-out of Greek life—and an impediment to their social life. As Jezebel reported on Tuesday, a flier was distributed across campus that begins "Life at Hopkins is royally fucked," and continues, "Depriving you of revered traditions, like The Administration attempted to with Beer Garden, is a rash and repugnant decision. Additionally, the attack on the Greek system as a whole for the actions of a few individuals is unjust."
The Student Government Association is also unhappy, and sent out an email on Wednesday that said the university's actions "redirected the focus from sexual assault to Fraternity and Sorority Life" and considered the university's decision to show a "disregard of the student-generated resolution reached by The Interfraternity Council and The Office of the Dean of Student Life. We are a community and this action is a breach of our trust and respect." (When reached by email, the SGA's executive president, Janice Bonsu, said that she would not comment further.)
In the meantime, Hopkins students are bravely continuing to fight for their right to party. A new Snapchat accounted was created solely for the purpose of informing Hopkins students of the locations of different parties. The Hopkins News-Letter's reporting on the moratorium included a detailed look at the differences in party attendance over the past weekend, with students complaining that going downtown every weekend to party "is just not feasible." Maybe someone should tell Hopkins students that there are, in fact, bars in between Charles Village and downtown.