NORFOLK, VA. — Just before the new semester kicked off at Old Dominion University, some un-“welcome” signs have resulted in a fraternity’s suspension.
Parents bringing their freshmen students to move-in at the Norfolk, Virginia, campus and community last week might have glimpsed these banners hanging from the balcony of a private home.
“Rowdy and Fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time,” read one of the signs, which was spray-painted on a sheet. “Freshman daughter drop off,” and “Go ahead and drop off mom too,” were messages displayed on two other sheets, CNN affiliate WTKR reported.
Members of the Sigma Nu fraternity live at the house, and now the national Sigma Nu organization has suspended the group while it investigates the incident.
The national organization, the university, and student leaders say they will hold those responsible accountable for the offensive banners.
“I am outraged about the offensive message directed toward women that was visible for a time on 43rd Street,” university President John R. Broderick said in a letter sent to the community and posted on Facebook. “Our students, campus community and alumni have been offended.”
The Interfraternity Council at ODU called the banners “highly offensive” and said they were placed by “several fraternity members.”
But the national Sigma Nu organization suggested it wasn’t so clear-cut.
“Initial reports regarding the banners indicated that no fraternity member had involvement with the banners,” Sigma Nu Executive Director Brad Beacham said in a statement. “However, additional information received by the fraternity today indicates that some chapter members may have had involvement with the banners.”
Beacham condemned the content of the banners and temporarily suspended the ODU chapter.
The university president said ODU has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, and that the school is doing its own investigation.
“While we constantly educate students, faculty and staff about sexual assault and sexual harassment, this incident confirms our collective efforts are still failing to register with some,” Broderick said.