Editor’s Note: The Triton granted anonymity to this writer because the case is still ongoing and any details made public about her case, her identity, and the identity of the accused could have adverse effects on the case ruling as well as leave her vulnerable to being charged with libel.
Dear Greek Life and the greater UC San Diego student body,
I am one of the girls who is currently pursuing a case against a member of Sigma Chi and I feel that I should address the Inter-Fraternity Council’s (IFC) recent decision to slate two members of the suspended fraternity. I want to emphasize that I am the victim of an individual and am actively pursuing action against an individual, not the fraternity organization at large. In my opinion, what happened to Sigma Chi was a symbolic action taken by the school to show the Greek community and student body at large that they were taking the allegations against individual members seriously. For this reason, I think it was irresponsible for IFC to slate the two members in the first place knowing the weight of the situation and how some victims, and Panhellenic members, may take the news of having Sigma Chi members in positions of power. That being said, the IFC’s decision has already been made public and I do not believe those slated should face individual backlash simply for having been members at the time the allegations surfaced. The cases that have been and are currently being pursued involve individual members, not every member, and it is irresponsible to assume that every member either participated in or was aware of the alleged crimes. I am scared that people may be too quick to pass judgment and blame Kameron and Johnny for simply being members of the organization.
When the original story of Sigma Chi’s accusations came to light this past June, it was their former president who faced direct public backlash for actions he himself had not committed. I would hate to see the same thing happen now with the two members named in the article, especially since it was one of the members slated that helped me pursue an investigation and continues to support me throughout the investigation. He was the one who connected me to their then-president, Erik, to talk about my options. After telling Erik what happened, he not only informed me of what he could do and his limitations as president, but he also provided me the resources to contact and pursue a case through CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) and the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.
In pursuing my case, I, like I assume of the other victims, sought only to hold the accused individuals responsible, not the fraternity itself. Though I understand the importance of making an example of the fraternity, the protocols that executive members in Sigma Chi took—in my case at least—were not and are not unique to their fraternity. I have heard of a member in another fraternity being placed on social probation following an accusation and then being seen at a party the following weekend as recently as this past Halloween. What is unique in the case of holding Sigma Chi as an organization responsible is the opportunity to learn from what was done wrong and to put concrete rules and procedures in place to protect everyone. That being said, the individual perpetrators of the alleged sexual crimes should not come to represent every current and former member of Sigma Chi.
The members slated were slated because of their individual qualifications in spite of their current or former affiliations. However, on this campus, Sigma Chi is synonymous with sexual assault and their being slated could be perceived as blatant disrespect to the Panhellenic Council, who symbolically took action against the whole fraternity to force direct action, bring awareness, and protect their members. Whether the individuals who were slated choose to continue to run for the position is ultimately up to them. What I hope this letter does is help bring awareness to the fact that there were members within Sigma Chi who were actively supporting the victims to the best of their ability and prevent the members named from being chastised for crimes they themselves did not commit.