Sigma Nu activities at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, have been temporarily suspended after a house associated with the fraternity displayed large, sexually suggestive banners.
The banners, which were displayed Friday on the balcony of the house across the street from the campus, were apparently directed at the parents of arriving students.
People took notice, and after images of the banners hit social media, outrage ensued.
The house appears to match one shown on the local chapter's Instagram account, which has since been made private.
And according to local CBS affiliate WTKR, the signs have been taken down at the request of campus police.
But that didn't soften the blowback. In a statement posted on Facebook, the university's president, John R. Broderick, condemned the banners.
The full statement reads:
Good morning Monarchs. President John R. Broderick sent the following letter to our campus community on Saturday. Please feel free to share it with the ODU community.
I am outraged about the offensive message directed toward women that was visible for a time on 43rd Street. Our students, campus community and alumni have been offended.
While we constantly educate students, faculty and staff about sexual assault and sexual harassment, this incident confirms our collective efforts are still failing to register with some.
A young lady I talked to earlier today courageously described the true meaning of the hurt this caused. She thought seriously about going back home.
But she was heartened, she explained, when she saw how fellow students were reacting to this incident on social media. She realized this callous and senseless act did not reflect the Old Dominion she has come to love.
The Student Government Association has recently developed the "Monarchs Raising Up" campaign educating our students on prevention of sexual and relationship violence, bystander intervention, and off-campus responsible behavior. Through video, online and in-person content, we layer education on these topics for all of our students throughout the year. All new freshman just received education this weekend on preventing discrimination and sexual assault in sessions we call "First Class."
Here is a link to a video from our student leaders responding to this event--just one example of how Old Dominion University students take a stand every day in regards to respecting each other and promoting responsible behavior: https://youtu.be/NC72ruvRtdY
I said at my State of the University address that there is zero tolerance on this campus for sexual assault and sexual harassment. This incident will be reviewed immediately by those on campus empowered to do so. Any student found to have violated the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action.
John R. Broderick
The university also released a video Saturday condemning the banners.
And on Monday, Sigma Nu's national office sent a letter to Old Dominion stating that the activities of the local chapter have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
In the statement, the executive director of Sigma Nu's national headquarters, Brad Beacham, acknowledged that Sigma Nu members may have been responsible.
"Information received by the fraternity today indicates that some chapter members may have had involvement with the banners," Beacham said.
BuzzFeed has reached out to Sigma Nu representatives for comment.
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