After Mention of 'Rape Attic,' 2 Frat Chapters Close

Phi Psi members 'appalled and disgusted' by leaked minutes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2019 7:44 AM CDT
After Mention of 'Rape Attic,' 2 Frat Chapters Close
Swarthmore College students hang a banner near the Phi Psi fraternity house during a sit-in on Monday.   (AP Photo)

Two fraternity chapters at Swarthmore College are no more after leaked documents revealed hazing; homophobic, racist and misogynistic language; and references to a "rape attic." Phi Psi, whose 117-page "Phi Psi Historical Archive" was leaked to student-run publications at the private Pennsylvania liberal arts college, and neighboring Delta Upsilon, mentioned as having a "rape attic" in meeting minutes prior to 2017, announced they would close their doors Tuesday as student protesters staged a sit-in at Phi Psi's house. "They made the right decision, even as the College refused to," the protesters said in a statement, per CNN. Sharing her "outrage," Swarthmore President Valerie Smith had suspended all fraternity activity while an investigation probed whether current students were involved in wrongdoing.

"An external investigator will still analyze the documents to confirm whether this is the case," Smith said Wednesday. Per the Washington Post, a Tumblr blog titled "Why Swarthmore's Fraternities Must Go" describes alleged assaults at fraternity events between 2015 and 2019. Delta Upsilon said it was unaware past members used the terms "rape attic" and "rape tunnel," but current members "unanimously decided that disbanding our fraternity is in the best interest of the Swarthmore community." Phi Psi similarly said "the best course of action for all those involved is to disband the fraternity completely and give up the fraternity house." Members were "appalled and disgusted by the content of these minutes, which led us to question our affiliation with an organization whose former members could write such heinous statements," it said. (More fraternity stories.)

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