The expulsion of a Zeta Beta Tau brother, whom the University's judicial system found guilty of raping a woman at a January 1991 party, sparked discussion yesterday about the effectiveness of rape education on campus. While several University students and officials said significant strides have been taken towards preventing acquaintance rape, they added that this incident indicates that there is still room for improvement. "The University is doing well, but we need more information to do even better," Victim Support Services Director Ruth Wells said yesterday. According to several sources, the victim, a Harvard University student, was visiting her sister who attends the University when she was allegedly raped on January 26, 1991. The woman made a report to Harvard Police on March 19, almost two months after the incident. University Police and Philadelphia Police Sex Crimes division were informed on March 29. But last June, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office declined to press charges against the man. University officials said the ZBT brother was a sophomore at the time of the incident. InterFraternity Council President Jeffrey Blount said yesterday that any implication of the entire ZBT fraternity in this incident is unwarranted. "I don't think [the situation] is indicative of the house," the Wharton junior said yesterday. "And I was a little concerned that the house has been mentioned in this individual's case in a negative way, as [ZBT] obviously didn't condone this activity." ZBT President Matthew Feinsod declined to comment on the incident yesterday. Other members of the University community applauded the manner in which the case was handled, but added that steps could still be taken to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. Wharton senior Derek Goodman, an executive board member of Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape, said he is happy that the University's judicial process worked effectively. "I wish it didn't happen in the first place," said Goodman, who is also a Phi Kappa Sigma brother. "But I'm glad that the survivor was able to pursue [her case] through the University's judicial system." "I think a lot of the fraternities have used and objectified women, which is thought to be harmful," Goodman added. "Some of the fraternities have stopped using the objectification as a bonding tool. I think that's a positive step." College senior Jodi Gold, another member of STAAR's executive board, said that promoting respect for women is the key to rape prevention in most male groups, including fraternities. "In general, it's important in any male group to promote respect for women," Gold said. "I think the fraternities could promote a healthier atmosphere for their pledges or new brothers by stressing the importance of communication with each other and in relationships." Gold added that STAAR held acquintance rape workshops with ZBT as recently as last Thursday, which about 40 fraternity members attended. Former Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman, who investigated the case declined to comment on the specifics of the case Wednesday. But she added that "any member of the University community who is duly proven to be involved in such behavior will be rightly ousted." Victim Support Services Director Wells said that STAAR's programs play an integral part of the battle against rape. "I think it's very excellent for fraternities, for the whole University, to participate in STAAR training, and to be familiar with University policies," Wells said. "Part of [their training] should deal with the possibility [of sanctions]."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.