'Rape Factory' Frat Ordered to Admit Women

Wesleyan orders residential frat houses to go co-ed
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 4:42 PM CDT
'Rape Factory' Frat Ordered to Admit Women
The main green of Wesleyan University.   (AP Photo/George Ruhe)

Wesleyan University has a message for its residential frat houses: Go co-ed by 2017. The school's board of trustees emailed the announcement to campus fraternities today, saying women must become full members and leaders in the organizations, Business Insider reports. The mandate follows a period of "heightened discussion" about the dangers of fraternity life at Wesleyan, which has a pretty campus for 30,000 students in central Connecticut, the Wall Street Journal notes. A former student claimed in a lawsuit that she had been raped at a Wesleyan fraternity party in 2010 and said the frat house—the Mu Epsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi—was commonly called the "Rape Factory" on campus, the Hartford Courant reported at the time.

Wesleyan then closed Beta Theta Pi a few weeks ago after a female student was critically injured falling from a third-story window at a party, NBC News reports. What's more, the school has "butted heads with Beta" over whether Wesleyan can manage the chapter house and police its parties, notes an old BuzzFeed article. "Six years of hearing about high-risk drinking at fraternities and dealing with fallout from highly publicized incidents of sexual violence have had an effect," Wesleyan President Michael Roth wrote on the school's website this year. So will the co-ed mandate take hold? Beta "is working to better understand" it, the frat house said in a statement, but still believes in places "for young men to come together and forge the bonds of fraternal brotherhood" on campus. (See how frat houses protect themselves against legal action after accidents and alleged rapes.)

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