NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) — University of Oklahoma administrators are investigating allegations a fraternity is requiring potential new members to complete a “rape initiation.”
“Hearing it and knowing it could happen at my own university really scared us, honestly,” said OU junior Sydney Price OU junior.
Price sent out a tweet on Tuesday evening, saying in part “Attention ladies of OU!!!! There is a rumor going around that Beta is going to be doing an initiation during Frat Lap, and it’s supposedly a ‘rape’ initiation.”
“I was very concerned and kind of angered by it,” Price said.
The allegations stemming from text messages obtained by OU Daily– inferring potential members of Beta Theta Pi must sexually assault someone to show their brotherhood.
A change.org petition with over 100 signatures also calling for the chapter to be shut down. Asking them to be “permanently banned on campus.” That petition has since been closed.
The university confirming the office of student conduct is currently gathering information related to the allegations, but so far “no evidence has been found to support the claims.”
“I want to make sure that these kind of rumors are taken seriously,” Price said. “I think that’s a really good idea to get an investigation in because it was just a rumor. However, a rumor is enough to be concerned, especially with something that intense.”
Beta Theta Pi Chapter President Sam Atkinson providing a statement to KFOR denying all of the allegations.
“We’ve become aware that certain inflammatory assertions about our fraternity have recently been posted in social media. We will not dignify them by repeating them here. These statements are irresponsible, obviously and absurdly false, and extremely defamatory. We have welcomed the University’s assistance in investigating the origin and circumstances of these statements, and we will examine our legal remedies against those responsible.”
As for now, Price is just hoping for more transparency.
“This is a college campus that we’re supposed to be feeling safe and we’re supposed to be feeling comfortable every time we come here and things of rape culture and sexual assault are very common,” Price said.
The university says the allegations are being taken very seriously. Anyone with firsthand information is asked to contact OU PD the Norman Police Department.