In response to two reports of sexual assault at the University of California, Berkeley, fraternities and sororities banned social events in their on-campus houses. These parties—really any event with alcohol—are off limits until the Greek system comes up with a new strategy to thrwart sexual assault.
Check out the message from Berkeley’s Interfraternity Council:
This isn’t the first time a university has targeted drinking culture in response to sexual assault allegations. After the Brock Turner case, Stanford changed its alcohol policy, banning hard liquor at parties on campus. UVA did the same thing following an alleged gang rape.
These bans are well-intentioned, but they suggest alcohol and partying are the reasons sexual assault happens on college campuses. They’re not to blame, and these policies ignore the real problem. Too many students don’t understand consent, or they feel like they are entitled to have sex with someone whether or not the other person wants to (or even has the capacity to consent).
We’re not saying there’s an easy answer here—comprehensive sex education discussing consent is a good start. Axing parties on campus frats, however, is just a Band-Aid solution, and the unfortunate reality is students will find other ways to have alcohol-fueled parties. If universities are serious about stopping sexual assaults, they need to address the underlying issues.