The Sexist

Fraternity Accused of Stealing 10,000 Student Newspapers to Cover Up Date Rape Story

As it turns out, I'm not the only one hoping that the widespread media coverage of date rape drugging will die down a bit. A fraternity on the University of Arizona campus has been accused of sabotaging 10,000 campus newspapers in order to cover up a small item in which a woman alleged having been drugged and possibly sexually assaulted at one of the frat's parties.

The copies of the Arizona Daily Wildcat containing the offending "Police Beat" item were apparently removed from their racks and strewn on the outskirts of campus shortly after publication on Oct. 8. The Daily Wildcat pinned the sabotage on the fraternity named in the piece, Phi Kappa Psi, after the Spanish homework of members Alex Cornell and Nick Kovaleski surfaced at the site of the discarded newspapers—a revelation the Phoenix New Times astutely notes mirrors a plot point from the 1998 film The Big Lebowski. The New Times phoned Phi Kappa Psi President Keith Peters "to find out if two 'pledges' were really dumb enough to steal 10,000 free newspapers and then leave their homework with the stolen stash." Peters declined to comment.

The student paper later received less hilarious evidence linking Phi Kappa Psi to the crime—e-mails from friends and relatives of fraternity members confirming that the theft was engineered "under the orders of fraternity leadership." Despite the paper's leads, the University of Arizona Police Department closed the case "without questioning any Phi Psi members."

Nevertheless, the prank has directed significant campus attention to the original item, a modest 250-word crime brief. It's clear that Phi Kappa Psi severely miscalculated their damage control over the drugging accusations. Even on a college campus, a straight item on an attempted date rape will hardly cause a stir. An item on a fraternity's elaborate—and absurdly botched—plan to keep that attempted date rape item hush-hush, on the other hand? People actually care about that.

But let's get back to the reason this 10,000 paper cover-up is so offensive in the first place: Apparently, the fraternity really, really, really didn't want people to know that its parties may feature date rape drugs. Below is the original crime report that Phi Kappa Psi was so afraid of getting out there. (Heads up for the future, boys: Newspapers are on the Internet these days). According to the alleged victim's testimony, she experienced symptoms of GHB after attending a Phi Kappa Psi party in September:

The woman claimed that on arrival, a fraternity member she knew gave her a drink. Later, an unidentified man gave her another drink. The woman told police she had assumed both drinks contained vodka, as they were both colorless. The woman reported that at approximately 11:30 p.m., she had begun feeling “overly flirtatious.” The woman also claimed to have experienced a loss of both hearing and bladder control. The woman told officers that her friend had walked her back to her residence at the Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall at approximately 1 a.m. on Sept. 27, at which point she vomited. The woman’s friends later told her that between the hours of 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 1 a.m. on Sept. 27, she had made out with three different men at the party. The next day, the woman looked up GHB online and believed she had experience its symptoms. She also told police that she had attempted to contact the fraternity president and had left several messages at the fraternity, but had received no replies. She told officers she was reporting the incident to document the event in the hopes of preventing any future sexual assaults.

Photo by kenlund, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

Comments

  1. Comrade Al Gonzales
    #1

    The ever-present football-player rapist and the bi-curious frat boy commit 92.4%% of all rapes on college campuses. Source: Pepper, Butthole Surfers.

  2. #2

    Hah!
    I saw the first line and was just about to say you listen to Butthole Surfers....

  3. #3

    As a U of A grad, I'm ashamed but not surprised. 90% of Wildcats are involved in the Greek life. It's the one negative about U of A, is the douchebags that go there.

  4. #4

    Staffer: More or less douchey than ASU?

  5. #5

    Unfortunately that sounds par for the course not just at Arizona, but across the countries universities. While Greek life is more than just this incident, I have found that at Arizona it is common practice. I was for a time being very involved in Greek life at U of A, but the level of douchebagery made me back away from it quickly. ASU is a different category.

  6. #6

    Less Amanda. ASU prides itself on being a party school and it's nearing 100K students, so it's a commuter school too.

    U of A has some serious academics as well as serious partiers.

    There's an inter state rivalry akin to my experience in Michigan. U of M/U of A is the frat jock rich kids and MSU/ASU is everyone else.

  7. #7

    Actually Greek Life is more like 10 to 11 percent of the student body and that is more than enough. If it were anymore I would have transferred up to NAU. Oh and ASU sucks for no other reason than it sucks.

  8. #8

    Being a fratboy in college is a pathetic excuse for "living it up" in preparation for a boring, mediocre, uber lame life after graduation and/or dropping out. Just because these douchebags who listen to Dave Matthews and wear their trucker hats end up with positions of power in the country, doesn't mean they awesome. They pay their way into these positions and jobs, through connections and an overbloated false sense of entitlement, with absolutely no hard work involved. Take for example: the Bushes, the greedy assholes in Wall Street who keeps on preying on the working class, the North Face clad douchebags who start fights at bars after a couple of bottles of Miller Lite. What they show in their hip designer clothes, being macho and all tough guy is nothing but a false front to disguise their insecurities, mediocre IQ and low self esteem. Live it up with your lame attempts at herd mentality, douches. Kudos to Amanda Hess for bringing this up.

  9. #9

    A sad and true statement on the state of greek life at the U of A, but the comments about athletes are a bit out of touch with the reality I've experienced as an instructor at the U of A. My athletes--none of whom are in frats, no time or money--have 18 hours of their days scripted by coaches and athletic departments. They work incredibly hard, and don't have the time to live up to the stereotypes I see written here. In fact, many of my best students have been athletes. Not much time for date rapes or drunken bar fights--unless you count the half-hour in between mandatory study halls and weight training.

  10. #10

    That's the problem with the American judicial system. We take a woman's testimony as face value and the man (or in this case men) are guilty until proven innocent. This girl might have just been unable to hold her booze, made out with a couple guys while she had a boyfriend, the boyfriend finds out, so this girl cries "date rape" wolf. I don't trust this shit at all. Seriously people, please use some sort of skepticism when reading an article. You're in college for God's sake.

  11. #11

    Josh,
    There are three problems with your comment, in my opinion. First you are not describing the judicial system accurately. The burden of proof remains on the prosecution and arrest warrants require probable cause. (The judicial system does not always work fairly, but that is its organizing principle.) Publicity certainly may damage the reputation of the accused, but the courts aren't responsible for the notoriety that surrounds their operations. Second, public discussion often assigns significant blame to women who bring allegations, invading their privacy and maligning their sexuality. So do we take a woman's testimony at face value, as you maintain? Some do, and many people clearly don't. I think, or at least I hope, that we investigate the allegation to try to find out what happened. Third, your complaint oddly focuses on a tangential point in the article; the frat that stole the newspapers did a vicious and stupid thing and ought to be called on it. I agree with you, though, that it's terrible when a person is falsely accused of a crime. The media does not always do a good job of focusing on the facts, in all sorts of ways. Maybe we ought to criticize them more, and with specifics, when they mess up.

  12. #12

    date rape, fuck everyone who uses that. sacks of shit.

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
...