Call to Action: The KDR Scandal

It’s time to get loud, Penn State. Louder than we’ve ever been at the Pegula Ice Arena or Beaver Stadium, louder than anyone can fathom. This time around, we need to raise our voices and take a stand against Kappa Delta Rho’s actions and support our fellow Nittany Lions that were so terribly abused and exploited.

To refresh your memory, the Penn State chapter of Kappa Delta Rho was put on suspension after State College police found naked photos of unconscious women posted on a private Facebook page created by the fraternity. According to Onward State, the page has 144 members and one commenter stated, ““373,217 views. All from us.”

As if the fraternity’s actions weren’t horrible enough, an anonymous brother of KDR provided a formal statement to Philly Mag and participated in an all-too-telling, albeit ridiculous, interview, essentially denouncing the frat’s action. He actually said in a direct quote to Philly Mag, “…everyone — from Bill Clinton to your grandfather to every Greek organization in the nation does the same old stuff, just as they have been for the entirety of human history.” The rest of the interview was littered with comments blaming the media for exaggerating the events and certainly had an all-too-common “boys will be boys” tone. You can read the rest of the piece here.

Before I continue, it’s important to point out that this isn’t something to be used against the Greek community. For once, we need to not pit students against each other. It’s not about the Greeks and the GDI’s. This is about our Penn State family, and it’s hurting. This is about the women who were so carelessly and casually exploited, and they’re hurting. Srats, Frats and non-affiliates aside, this is Nittany Nation. Keep that in mind as this article continues.

Kappa Delta Rho was suspended for a year following the discovery. If you’re not familiar with the Greek system, this means that the fraternity “may not participate in any IFC functions, host any social events, recruit new members, or conduct any business, including chapter meetings, without the written consent of the IFC,” as stated in this Onward State article. No arrests have been made. No students have been expelled. In a statement President Eric Barron released, he claimed Penn State’s administration is working to address the issues at hand, but is ultimately stalled by the police’s formal investigation.

Frankly, that’s not enough. Rape culture and sexual assault will never disappear if it’s left to the head honchos to deal with behind closed doors. What happened to those women isn’t just their issue, it’s everyone’s. It’s in YOUR front yard. For years, people have turned a blind eye to these kinds of offenses. But now, that’s unacceptable. This can’t go unnoticed or unaddressed.

This isn’t a statement that is contained to our publication. The statements below were graciously given by fellow Penn State students. Your peers. Your friends. Your family. Your students. Your teachers. Read every single word carefully. With every one quote in this piece, there are a thousand more voices waiting to be heard. Don’t ignore them. That kind of cowardice has gone on for far too long.

“As a woman at Penn State, the KDR scandal is extremely disturbing to me. I think this scandal really draws attention to how we need to reevaluate how women are treated on college campuses. This goes far beyond “No means No” or “Consent.” This is an outright invasion of privacy and I think legal action needs to be taken to really demonstrate how unacceptable this is.” Rachel Garman, senior and print journalism major. 

“This is not simply a feminist issue. It’s not a liberal or conservative issue. It’s a human issue. To politicize an event like this is wrong. I think the best approach is to put politics and labels aside and ask ourselves how we would feel if it was our friend, our sister, or a roommate who was victimized.” Taylor McCarty, senior and international politics major. 

“They should all get kicked out of school and not just suspended. What is that saying about the women who go here? We are still going to be disrespected and mistreated, and just to be suspended is a slap on the wrist. It shows a lot about how PSU views women. It’s disgusting.” – Kendra Hilbert, junior and human development and family studies major. 

“If we let this go, then it gives the next guy to do the same thing and get away with it. My biggest thing about this is that these boys need to have the consequences of any other person in the real world. Just because we’re in college, doesn’t mean we should get a free pass for all our wrongs.” Jessica Macaulay, senior and industrial and manufacturing engineering major

“Our initial reaction to the situation was outrage. The blatant disregard for agency and consent upset us the most. When the situation went unanswered by the university president late into last night, we decided to picket Old Main ourselves to show our disappointment. We decided to make it a Facebook event to garner any kind of support we could–and all of the pieces just fell into place. We are thrilled by and appreciative of all of the encouragement and support that the campus and community have offered.**”  – a combined quote from Lauren Elizabether Lewis, senior and print journalism major, and Josie Rose, a Penn State alumna class of 2000 with a MA in English and MA Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

“I wish I could say I was surprised. Obviously what these guys did was horrible, and the real victims are the women whose pictures were taken. But me? I’m just tired. I was a freshman in 2011 when the Sandusky scandal broke, and it feels like my time at Penn State has been defined by death, scandal and construction. I’m tired of being embarrassed by where I go to school. And I know that the reality is that it’s not all of us, and that what a bunch of fraternity brothers did doesn’t reflect the whole school. But we’ve had to remind ourselves of that how many times now?” Kyle Tresnan, senior and English major

“It’s an invasion of privacy.”

“It’s a human issue.”

“It shows how PSU views women.”

How much more obvious can it get?

Boys will not be boys. Girls are NEVER asking for it. And to chalk this up to the playful antics of a rowdy fraternity is actually pathetic. Whoever you are, anonymous KDR brother with a big mouth – you’re pathetic. This is a problem, and it won’t go away. If we don’t take action and do something, then who will? It’s never going to be the right time, it’s never going to be pretty, it’s never going to be fun. This is not a walk-in-the-park battle with the Lollipop Guild and unicorns and rainbows. Frankly, that mentality is laughable. Fight for what’s right – respect and equality for everyone, and the safety of women on all college campuses, in every street, in every country, everywhere.

We are strong. We are better than this. We Are…Penn State. Valley is willing to fight, are you?


**If you would like to learn more about the Old Main picket, click here**


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