Following the controversial video that was leaked from Alpha Tau Omega on Wednesday, October 7th, IU has received national coverage and scrutiny. We’ve seen the headlines, heard the conversation, and have access to the video links, but what does this all mean? Why is the media blowing this up more than other problems on campus like murders, rapes, and drug abuse? Controversial things happen everyday on college campuses so why was this particular act so much more important than others?
IU has been facing a lot of negative media attention lately. Aside from fraternity misconducts, the campus as a whole has been facing serious safety issues. Abductions, murders and rapes have been no strangers to our campus. But why aren’t these situations causing uproar and implementing media frenzy? What makes a video of sexual acts with a stripper more important and urgent to fix than the back-to-back murders that took place around the same time?
It didn’t take much time for IU to pull the plug on the ATO chapter, which came as a surprise to me, as I’m sure many others. This hasn’t been the first negatively publicized issue in a fraternity on campus, so what made this circumstance more problematic than others? Many frats have had rape allegations, drug busts, and even international drug involvement. Are sexual assaults not as frowned upon nationally compared to voluntary strippers? I think jeopardizing students safety deservers a harsher punishment than a viral video of voluntary actions.
This story garnered an unusual amount of media attention because of how unique it is. A rape allegation or drug bust can go overlooked by the greater public because it isn’t unusual on a large college campus. A video of disturbing intercourse with a stripper isn’t an everyday occurrence. Therefore, the media blew up the story and IU was quick to prove they weren’t going to tolerate ATO’s behavior. It seems as if IU only takes serious action if the scandal is causing national coverage and reflects poorly on the university.
The murders and rapes on campus are being overlooked and marginalized. They’re circulating the national media, like a viral video does, so serious action isn’t a priority. The ATO video overshadowed a bigger issue on campus. Because of the video, the two murders weren’t publicized or focused on as much as they should have been.
If every rape, sexual assault, or drug bust got as much uproar and attention as the ATO video, maybe we would have a better system for improving our campus safety.