Several Knox College fraternity brothers have reportedly been punished after they loudly played the song “Proud To Be An American” as student activists marched against sexual assault.
Earlier this month, Knox College’s Students Against a Sexist Society organized a Take Back the Night march, part of a national campaign that raises awareness about rape.
As the student activists walked past the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on May 12, several chanted, “Hey, ho, the patriarchy has got to go,” according to the Knox Student. In response, several fraternity members reportedly cranked up the patriotic song, playing it so loudly that the activists could not longer be heard.
In a statement released to the Knox Student, the fraternity said that “brothers involved partook in a minor act of ignorance towards marchers walking and yelling directly at our house.”
The statement also mentioned that these members “had been subject to disciplinary action,” the Knox Student said, but it’s unclear what that punishment entailed.
The administrator in charge of Greek Life did not respond to our emailed questions about the incident by deadline. Spencer Bauer, an executive member of the fraternity, declined to comment to Heat Street, saying an investigation was still ongoing.
In their statement to the campus newspaper, fraternity members said that since the incident, they have been harassed online and denounced as “white boys” who play a major “role in rape culture.”
“These actions are a slander on the efforts that this chapter makes to spread awareness on sexual violence, and are below our common social standards as a house,” the statement said.
Knox College’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, commonly known as “FIJI,” has been actively involved sexual-assault prevention, the Knox Student noted. Working with the Title IX office and the director of Multicultural Student Advisement, it has held several events about rape, consent, and sexual violence. All members have also completed training about sexual assault.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.