Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a letter written by Nathaniel Wilson entitled “Fraternities Should Not Shoulder Blame for Sexual Assaults” in the Oct. 3 edition of the Exponent.
Sigma Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha must acknowledge that they were directly responsible for creating an atmosphere where two girls in two different places, on the same night, were raped. Yet this is not the first time we have seen a rape happen at fraternity houses nationally. Wilson seems to be suggesting that because these rapes have happened, the fraternities will do a better job at preventing them in the future. As we have seen from the fact that there have been rapes at fraternities in the past, and that they continue to happen unless we do something to stop them as a university community. We are told by Wilson in his Exponent letter to the Editor that we are not to “automatically make any assumptions”. Then perhaps fraternities this time will actually change and prevent rape from happening on their premises in the future. When a man or woman enters my house with a gun, I fire first and ask questions later. When two rapes happen on my campus in the same environment, I think the only prudent thing to do is help dismantle or irrevocably alter the environment so that these horrific crimes do not happen again. It does not matter what the facts are exactly and whether the perpetrator of this crime was a member of the fraternity where the rape occurred or not. The environment of the fraternity houses led to an environment which gave the perpetrators the ability to sexual violate the two victims.
There should be no environment whatsoever where this crime can be committed. Any student organization associated with Montana State University that creates this type of environment should be eliminated by law and by university policy. As Wilson clearly said, “It is up to fraternities to ensure the safety and security of everyone at their houses.” When the fraternity houses fail at this task, the community must provide for the safety and security of their guests. This horrible violation of two girls must never be allowed to happen again. That is why fraternities and sororities that wish to be associated with Montana State University should be required to have police officer on watch at the fraternity or sorority house whenever a guest enters. The cost of this measure should be paid for by the fraternities and sororities. In addition, fraternities and sororities should be treated as public buildings where the police do not have to obtain a warrant to search the fraternity and sorority houses. I think these common sense measures will create a safer environment for all, free from sexual molestation and rape.