According to its web site, the Wesleyan branch of Beta Theta Pi fraternity has five "core principles": "mutual assistance," "intellectual growth," "trust," "responsible conduct" and "integrity." According to a new lawsuit, it also has a cool nickname: "Rape Factory."
Nothing like the deadpan post-ironic humor of college students. "Rape Factory"! A horrible mechanized assembly line, designed and structured for a single objective: rape. An unnamed former Wesleyan student is suing the university for failing to "to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action" against the fraternity, which she says had a "reputation in the Wesleyan community as the 'Rape Factory'":
"Beta House has a long-documented history of dangerous misconduct, student injuries and numerous sexual assaults of women, resulting in Beta and Mu Epsilon losing recognition from Wesleyan as a student organization and gaining the reputation in the Wesleyan community as the 'Rape Factory'," the complaint states.
"On March 5, 2010, Wesleyan officials sent a warning to all Wesleyan students, instructing them to stay away from Beta House because it was dangerous and Wesleyan could not ensure students' safety on the premises. This followed numerous incidents of student injury and hospitalizations."
Doe claims the fraternity defendants, Mu Epsilon and its parent, "refused to make safety changes requested by Wesleyan, including refusing to grant Wesleyan public safety officers access of right [sic] to the property."
Doe, who began classes at Wesleyan in the fall of 2010, claims that neither the college nor the fraternity provided her or her parents "with any warning, other safety information, or precautions regarding Beta House and events at this location. Jane Doe was entirely unaware of the risks to women attending student events at the 'Rape Factory.' She attended the Halloween party and was raped; another female student also reported being raped at the Beta House that weekend."
Doe went to her R.A. to report her rape; according to the complaint, the R.A. didn't make any effort to contact authorities, and she couldn't visit the student health services until the following Monday — two days after the sexual assault. According to to the Hartford Courant, her perseverance in making complaints paid off when the university "terminated the fraternity's status as program housing," only to come back around again when the brothers of Beta Theta Pi "staged protests at the woman's dorm and at other places on campus."
If nothing else, though, her attacker — John O'Neill, "a guest of Beta member" — was prosecuted and sentenced to 15 months in prison, on (reduced) charges of third-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint. Beta Theta has been re-instated, and the victim transfered out of Wesleyan.