Investigation: UVM frat not responsible for rape survey - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Investigation: UVM frat not responsible for rape survey

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Ten months after a controversial survey question asking students who they would rape surfaced at the University of Vermont's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, UVM has cleared the frat of any involvement with the document.

When news of the survey first surfaced in December 2011 UVM put the frat on probation and within days national leadership kicked the kids out of the fraternity's house and closed the chapter.

"I think if one person is to do something it shouldn't be everyone who gets in trouble," said freshman Grace McGeehan.

Thursday UVM said it found the document was the result of the actions of an individual student, but won't say who it was.

"We go to an awesome school with a really, really great students and the fact that we have a student that would put something out like that really just sheds a poor light on UVM as a whole," says UVM student Emily Orlowski.

University spokesperson Enrique Corredera says UVM is taking appropriate action but won't say what that means for the student involved, "I cannot disclose the details of the actions that we are taking to hold the individual accountable."

Orlowski raised concerns over the secrecy "I would really like to know what they did for him what punishment, I don't know if I would feel safe or comfortable knowing that the University kept him at our school."

Things have changed dramatically at 371 Main St. in Burlington where the fraternity was housed. The former frat house has been transformed into a dorm for Champlain College students.

In an interview with WCAX's Keith McGilvery Monday, UVM's new president was asked if 10 months was too long for the investigation, " Well as a general matter yes but I also understand the intricacies and all the interest that have to be protected here," said Sullivan.

Sullivan also challenged folks who may think the offensive language was simply free speech, "We have to find the right context to make sure that we're both advancing First Amendment free speech and also being respectful and civil in our discourse and our conduct with each other," he said.

Anything less say student Hannah Harrington says is simply not acceptable on campus, "People are going to react they're not going to be a lot of getaway with it and there are going to be a lot of groups and organizations on campus that are not happy and they're going to let everyone know."

Channel 3 has reached out to former brothers with Sigma Phi Epsilon for comment- but has not heard back.

While the Investigation into the survey is complete. The fraternity is not in the clear. University officials say their initial investigation raised red flags about a separate incident and that a new investigation is underway. UVM is not sharing details but say that work should be done this semester.

Related Stories:

UVM fraternity building to become Champlain dorm

UVM survey scandal investigation continues

UVM's Sigma Phi Epsilon closed

Fraternity under investigation at UVM

Offensive survey may spell end of fraternity

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