The national office of the Sigma Nu fraternity has suspended all activities at its Old Dominion University chapter as it begins an investigation into three sexually suggestive banners that were hung from the front porch of the group's off-campus house over the weekend.
"The Fraternity condemns the derogatory and demeaning language used on the banners," the fraternity's executive director Brad Beacham said in a statement. "Such language has no place in our Fraternity or within any caring community, such as that of ODU." Beacham vowed that any fraternity members deemed responsible for what he called the "reprehensible display" would be held accountable.
The signs were hung over the weekend as newly admitted freshmen were arriving at ODU's Norfolk campus. They read, "Rowdy and fun hope your baby girl is ready for a good time…"; “Freshman daughter drop off”, with an arrow pointing to the house's front door; and "Go ahead and drop off mom too…". Images of the signs were captured in a picture that was briefly posted to Facebook and preserved in a screengrab by the Huffington Post. The Facebook post has since been deleted.
Local media tried to speak with members of the fraternity but they did not respond to requests for comment.
University President John R. Broderick said in a Facebook post that he was "outraged" over the banners and vowed the incident would be reviewed "immediately."
“I said at my State of the University address that there is zero tolerance on this campus for sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Broderick wrote. "Any student found to have violated the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action."
The ODU Student Government also addressed the signs in a Facebook message and video featuring campus leaders.
“An incident occurred this weekend that does not reflect the university’s commitment to the prevention of sexual assault and dating violence,” the Facebook message said. “Not only do these actions taken by a few individuals undermine the countless efforts at Old Dominion University to prevent sexual assault, they are also unwelcoming, offensive and unacceptable.”
Some students also talked about hearing some parents mention that they were thinking about pulling their daughters from the school as a result of the banners.
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