News & Opinion | May 1, 2019 10:49 am

College Students Call for Closure of Frat That Bragged of “Rape Attic”

Students at Swarthmore College want the Phi Psi fraternity shut down

An Organizing for Survivors protest at the Phi Psi frat house. (Organizing for Survivors/Facebook)
An Organizing for Survivors protest at the Phi Psi frat house. (Organizing for Survivors/Facebook)

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Students at Swarthmore College and organizers are calling for a campus fraternity that boasted of having a “rape attic” in its frat hours to be closed down.

In historical documents from the Phi Psi fraternity which were leaked by campus publications, members of the frat wrote of getting date-rape drugs, starting their “own milf sex trafficking ring” and a “rape attic.”

In response, dozens of students at the Pennsylvania school took over the fraternity house and have been staying there this weekend.

The protesters, who include members of Organizing for Survivors, call themselves the Coalition to End Fraternity Violence are also calling on the school to close its other fraternity, Delta Upsilon.

Morgin Goldberg, a 22-year-old senior, told the New York Times that the presence of the so-called rape attic is well-known around campus and that she personally had notified administrators about the dangers of locked rooms in frat houses.

“I’ve told the fraternity liaison,” she said. “I’ve told the dean of conduct, I’ve told the old dean of students, I’ve told the new dean of students, I’ve told the president.”

The fraternity attempted to distance itself from the documents with a statement on Facebook.

“We wholeheartedly condemn the language of the 2013 and 2014 notes, as they are not representative of who we are today,” the statement reads. “All our current brothers were in high school and middle school at the time of these unofficial minutes, and none of us would have joined the organization had this been the standard when we arrived at Swarthmore.”

In a petition calling for Swarthmore College to terminate the fraternities’ leases, organizers wrote: “The College-given leases empower the fraternities to harm other students with impunity, through unique access to a physical space they control and abuse. Despite student protests and testimonies of trauma, Swarthmore College and the Board of Managers have so far prioritized the financial approval of fraternity alumni, and the weekend enjoyment of a small powerful minority of students, over the safety of all other students.”