Police seize photos at SAE house in connection to alleged rape, search warrant shows

Jordan Hulseberg '19, Editor-in-Chief

Memphis police executed a search warrant at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house and seized photos in connection to an alleged rape on Feb. 15 according to the search warrant obtained by The Sou’wester. The rape reportedly happened in the SAE house.

No suspects have been named and no arrests were made at the time of the warrant’s execution.

The Sou’wester is declining to name the victim or detail the alleged events that transpired in the SAE house as per the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics.

Campus Safety Director Ike Sloas sent out a college-wide email indicating sexual assault had been reported and there were multiple suspects. The college is cooperating fully and is also investigating the matter.

The college has ordered SAE to cease and desist all activity on campus until further notice.

The Sou’wester contacted SAE’s national fraternity office but has not received a response.

Culture of Consent released a statement calling on fraternities to improve their handling of sexual assault and rape culture on Feb. 20.

HEY IFC! For decades you have branded yourselves as gentlemen, model members of society that every young man on campus should aspire to be. You have failed miserably to live up to those lofty ideals. You espouse sentiments of brotherhood, of service; however, time and time again you have shown that you put your own trivial interests above all else, including human decency and public safety.

THE SUBJECT OF IKE SLOAS’ EMAILS THIS SEMESTER COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. Your refusal to take responsibility for the continued sexual violence perpetrated by your members is unacceptable. We know there are men among you who stand against the history of violence perpetuated by your organizations, and it’s time for you to stand up for your values, lest you be counted among the apathetic masses who fail to take action.” [sic]

The organization has also released a set of demands for fraternities. Accountability, mandatory training and vocal support of survivors topped their list.

In closing, Culture of Consent called on the Rhodes community—including those not in Greek life—to step up and act against sexual assault.

TO THOSE OF YOU NOT IN A FRATERNITY….if you continue to support those organizations who refuse to reform and refuse to make our campus a safer place, you are complicit. Do not attend fraternity functions until they make it clear that they will meet these demands.

“This is a chance for Rhodes to grow and improve as a community. It is a chance for Rhodes’ Greek life to be an example instead of the problem. It is a chance for Rhodes to be a place where we all feel safe. Do better, Rhodes.” [sic]

Culture of Consent’s full statement can be read here.

Following Culture of Consent’s statement, the Rhodes chapters of Sigma Nu, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma and Alpha Tau Omega have announced the cancellation of their parties.

Sigma Nu’s statement read, “Recently, it has been brought to our attention that we as Greek men have not been doing our part in fostering a climate of respect and dignity. We would like to make it known that we heard that message loud and clear.”

Pi Kappa Alpha’s statement said, “Safety at our events for every member of the Rhodes community is our priority, and we plan to implement further training in addition to the Everfi and GreekLife EDU for our members so we can best achieve this, starting with Green Dot training. We want to be engaged in an open dialogue with the Culture of Consent and all other members of the Rhodes Community.”

Kappa Sigma’s statement said, “We strongly condemn any and all sexual violence committed against any member of the Rhodes community and share the concerns voiced by Culture of Consent. Sexual violence is something that no person should have to go through under any circumstances. We will continue to hold ourselves and our neighbors to the highest standards in maintaining the safety of all members of the Rhodes community. We will be implementing mandatory Green Dot and Bystander Training for all members and pledges in order to further ensure a zero tolerance atmosphere for any sexual assaults on campus. Our voice as a community is strongest when we stand together to denounce the normalization of acts of sexual violence on our campus. We hope to work with all members of the community to ensure that Rhodes Greek Life is held accountable for any and all incidents of sexual misconduct.”

Alpha Tau Omega’s statement said, “In the light of recent events, we, the brothers of ATO, would like to take this opportunity to unequivocally condemn both the act of sexual violence and the culture of apathy that so readily accompanies it. Frequently, conversations on this topic devolve into screaming matches that only serve to polarize, rather than foster the sense of unity that should accompany a topic like safety. For this very reason, we began the conversation of getting the entire fraternity Green-Dot certified several weeks ago. Out of recognition for the egregious violation of basic human dignity that is sexual violence, we will work as a fraternity and as a member of IFC to support victims, denounce apathy, and ensure brotherhood continues to mean holding each other accountable. In the name of these commitments, our house will be closed this weekend and we look forward to working closely with the Culture of Consent to make our parties fun and safe for everyone.”