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SDSU Students Protest Over Fraternities And Sexual Assault

Sign in front of San Diego State University building that reads

Photo by San_Diego_Shooter / Flickr

Above: Sign in front of San Diego State University building that reads "San Diego State University."

Student activists on the campus of San Diego State will lead a protest march Tuesday and ask administrators to enact new policies related to sexual assault and fraternities.

Student activists on the campus of San Diego State will lead a protest march Tuesday and ask administrators to enact new policies related to sexual assault and fraternities.

They are reacting to events that took place last month during an anti-rape march on campus.

During the Take Back the Night event on Nov. 21, student marchers said members of two fraternities harassed them. As they marched past fraternity houses, they said members yelled obscenities at them and waved sex toys.

SDSU announced days later that all Greek social activities would be suspended and that members of Greek organizations will be required to get sexual assault prevention training.

Tuesday's protesters will conduct a sit-in and present school administrators a list of new demands.

They want to know how Greek members will be trained and how that training will be evaluated. And they’re asking for an end to segregated fraternities and sororities on SDSU campus.

Senior Jordan Busse is part of the group Concerned Students, which brought students together for the November march and has organized Tuesday's demonstration. She said the group considered asking the university to shut down the Greek system as a whole but reconsidered because, as she put it, that seemed unrealistic.

But Busse said they want to make their points known to President Elliot Hirshman, who is an honorary member of a fraternity.

"It would just be nice to hear him say, 'I recognize that things happen in fraternities that are harmful to women,'" Busse said.

According to a spokesman for campus police, there have been 17 campus-related sexual assaults reported at SDSU in 2014, including 13 since the start of the fall semester. Seven of those reported assaults occurred at fraternities, including one over the weekend.

A Facebook event posting for Tuesday's rally shows more than 70 people going, but finals week could dilute that turnout. Protesters are gathering at Hepner Hall at 12 noon.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story had incorrect figures on the number of campus-related sexual assaults at SDSU. The story has been changed to reflect the correct numbers.

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