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Penn State students protest frat nude photo postings

Natalie Weston and Mark Scolforo
Associated Press

State College, Pa. — More than 100 Penn State University students and other supporters are demonstrating against a fraternity accused of posting photos of nude or partly nude women, some asleep or passed out, on an invitation-only Facebook page.

The protest took place Friday during a snowstorm in front of the main administration building on the State College campus.

Protest organizers are asking that the university put frat brothers at Kappa Delta Rho involved with the Facebook page on interim suspension. They also want the school to sever ties with the now-suspended fraternity chapter.

Student Peri Hahraman of Columbus, Ohio, says women cannot feel safe at fraternities. She says she’s taking part in the rally to help change that culture.

A sign made out of a bed sheet read: “Rape culture lives there.”

The State College chapter of Kappa Delta Rho has already been suspended a year by its national organization while a review is underway.

The university said it is assisting police in their investigation. Police have identified at least two photos they say could result in criminal charges.

Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement late Wednesday to the college community that it may be time to re-evaluate the entire fraternity system.

He said hazing, excessive drinking and sexual assaults are “issues within fraternal life” that need to be addressed.

The university is also working with the national leadership of Kappa Delta Rho to see if it “will have a presence” on campus and what conditions might be required, he said.

Police in State College, home to Penn State’s main campus, are investigating allegations the fraternity operated a private Facebook page on which members shared frat house pictures of nude and seminude women, some of whom appeared to be asleep or passed out. According to a warrant, the invitation-only page had 144 active members, including students and alumni.

Police said some of the photos showed women in “sexual or embarrassing positions” and some of the women appeared to be aware their pictures were being taken while others did not.

Rick Groves, president of the Penn State Interfraternity Council, said Thursday that there’s merit to a discussion about ways to strengthen the fraternity system and “reclaim its standing.”

“Our community has always been one of continuous improvement, and disturbing events like those at Kappa Delta Rho show the need for improvement now more than ever,” Groves said in an email to The Associated Press.

The fraternity’s members and leaders in State College have not made any public comments since the scandal broke.