SWARTHMORE, PENNSYLVANIA – An on-campus fraternity house at Swarthmore College was stormed by more than thirty student protesters calling for its closure. The protest occurred after information leaked about the use of derogatory comments and jokes relating to sexual assault by members of the Phi Psi chapter of the fraternity.
The sieged fraternity house is the Phi Psi chapter at the private liberal arts school, suburban Philadelphia. Over the weekend, more than 100 protesters stormed the on-campus fraternity house.
In the early days of this month, internal Phi Psi documents between 2012 and 2016 were released by Voices and The Phoenix. The documents showed sexual assault jokes, derogatory comments against the female folk, minorities and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. It also includes sexual photos and videos which might have been without consent. A “rape attic” was also referenced in the anonymously leaked documents.
Placards carried by the protesters read, “This house is ours” and, “nothing has changed. Admin knew all along.”
Phi Psi is an unaffiliated fraternity and was suspended in 2016 for violating the college’s drug and alcohol policy and only reopened for parties one year ago.
The college on Monday claimed the originality of the documents had not been verified. In an emailed statement, the college claimed the report of a task force charged last year with examining the role of Greek life on campus is at work and will publish its findings before the week runs out.
In a post on Swarthmore’s Phi Psi Facebook page, the language in the leaked documents was condemned. The post read: “They are not representative of who we are today; none of us would have joined the organization had this been the standard when we arrived at Swarthmore.”
The student community at Swarthmore has about 1,600m members and is located approximately 18 kilometers to the southwest of Philadelphia.