Purdue students demand change following alleged sexual assaults

Dozens of Purdue students marched across campus to show support for an increase in reported sexual assaults on campus.

Posted: Oct 20, 2021 1:13 AM
Updated: Oct 20, 2021 10:25 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Dozens of Purdue students marched across campus to show support for an increase in reported sexual assaults on campus. The march was organized by the #MeToPurdue after an alleged rape on September 18th at Zeta Beta Tau.

"I'm in a sorority and we were informed there had been four sexual assaults in one week at a Sunday meeting," said Charlotte Russell who created the Me Too Purdue Instagram page. 

Russell created the page as a way to let women know they aren't alone.

"The idea of Me Too is just having that security in knowing that you aren't alone," said Russell

The march passed by fraternity houses on campus because a big part of what the movement is asking for is a change in Greek Life culture.

"We want to see an adjustment to the BYOB policy," said Sarah Whitaker, an organizer with Me Too Purdue.  "We want to see a zero-tolerance policy put in place within the fraternities that are doing this as well as just some adjustment made as to the way that functions are held."

Fraternity members also showed their support for changes. Many members recently went through sexual assault education which is something they'd support all Purdue students taking.

"I think it would be a wonderful thing to have every single student be educated on this topic," said Alec Ozlowski, a pledge with the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. I think it's bigger than just fraternities," said Alec Ozlowski, a pledge with the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. 

Following the march was a candlelight vigil where sexual assault survivors told their stories. Organizers of the demonstration hope by taking a stand, Purdue will enact a zero-tolerance policy campus-wide.

"This isn't just a greek life issue," said Russell. "This is a cultural issue and so that's kind of our next step and that is what we are hoping to bring to attention with the University."

Fraternity members in attendance said it was important to them to show support for the women healing and to show that their fraternities stand with the changes Me Too Purdue is asking for.

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