Rhodes College students demand answers following sexual assault reports

Rhodes fraternity under investigation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Rhodes College students demanded answers and actions on campus Thursday night.

Students received a Campus Safety Alert last Friday, notifying them “a female student reported she was sexually assaulted February 15” and that “the student suspects are known to the female student.”

Memphis Police confirm they searched the SAE fraternity house, where the reported rape occurred.

"People wanted to know why MPD were on campus? Why the house was being searched? What was going on," Junior Abbey Bako said. "As president of Culture of Consent...I was sickened. And I wanted to do something about it."

Rhodes President Marjorie Hass issued a statement saying, "We will not tolerate sexual assault in our community."

Neither will Bako's Culture of Consent group.

"It's a coalition of students that is trying to eliminate rape culture on campus," Bako said.

TBI statistics show 21 sexual assaults at Rhodes in 2015, 13 in 2016 and 3 in 2017.

Rhodes hired Tiffany Cox, its first Title IX coordinator, in 2016.

It is her job to oversee how the school handles reports of sexual violence.

"There are things that maybe happened 10-25 years ago that weren't acceptable then, but were more tolerated. And I think that is changing with this current crop of students," Cox said.

Culture of Consent asked Rhodes fraternities to cancel weekend events.

Many have complied like the Sigma Nu's, Pikes, Kappa Sigs and ATO's.

One fraternity even invited a guest speaker to talk about how to prevent sexual assault.

“I hope this is something that people take to heart. I hope this is going to be a catalyst for change on our campus,” Bako said.

Culture of Consent is creating a survivor empowerment team.

Rhodes students plan to hold a silent protest outside the library Friday.

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