LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Three fraternities at Stony Brook University are temporarily suspended pending an investigation into hazing and sexual misconduct, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday.
It comes amid a flood of personal stories filling social media pages, calling out sex assault in college and high school.
Stony Brook officials shared few details on the university’s website. But, the student newspaper reported the suspensions were prompted by social media posts by students and alums, who named names.
“There is this whole movement online of the students coming forward and talking about problems in Greek life,” said Niki Nassiri, a reporter for the Stony Brook Statesman.
Nassiri reported on the flood of personal stories of sexual assault.
“It’s almost like a new Me Too movement. A lot of students are fed up with the inaction by the university,” she said.
The movement is not only about Greek life or campus life. It’s calling for better accountability and education across social media.
Newfield High School in Selden, N.Y. has been the focus of hundreds of posts detailing stories of sex assault before, during and after high school.
Julia Cancilla started #SurvivingNewfield, which has been trending.
“It’s no means no. But, it’s also more than that. It means not pressuring somebody, it means not coercing somebody,” said Cancilla. “‘Boys will be boys,’ can no longer be the narrative.”
Hundreds of alums signed a letter asking the district and the state to teach students about consent in health class.
“This isn’t just one moment, this is a movement… This conversation needs to start in high school, not in college… Think about all these cases in Stony Brook that maybe could have been prevented if they knew about consent and they knew about their legal rights and all about this beforehand, in high school, instead of starting in college,” said Christian Rodriguez, a Newfield graduate.
District officials thanked them for, “bringing to light very serious and real challenges students face.”
Stony Brook officials said they, “strongly encourage students to report all allegations of sexual misconduct… it is difficult to sustain a case when individuals do not come forward.”
University officials sent the following statement to CBS2:
“Stony Brook University is committed to creating and fostering a learning and working environment in which sexual misconduct is not tolerated, and all members of our community can thrive.
Within 24-48 hours of receiving allegations of incidents related to Sigma Beta Rho, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Kappa Sigma — following an initial review and investigation — interim suspensions were issued to each of the fraternities. This is consistent with our process, as sexual assault and hazing have no place on college campuses or in our society. Under these suspensions, which began the week of June 22, no organizational activities including programming, events, meetings, or recruitment, are permitted. The investigation into the allegations against these fraternities is continuing and all fraternity and sorority organizations are required to uphold the University’s community standards.”
Students told CBS2 they want wider accountability from the university.
At least one of the suspended fraternities is commenting publicly.
In a post, Kappa Sigma said they stand with those coming forward with their stories, writing, “we hear you, we believe you, we stand with you.”