12.15.15 | Mattie Kahn
And you do not want to be in their way.
Let the record show: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) like sororities. Both women value the Greek organizations, recognizing them to be social havens for young women on campus. Both joined—and loved them.
But perhaps you've heard otherwise. McCaskill and Gillibrand have lobbied since July to slash support for the misleadingly named Safe Campus Act, which a broad coalition of national sororities and fraternities had endorsed. The bill would prevent universities from investigating cases of sexual assault, mandating that the crimes instead be reported to law enforcement. For all it promises victims, the legislation would tie administrative hands and force schools to wait until police wrap endless investigations in order to discipline a perpetrator. When the senators discovered that fraternities and sororities had planned to battle for the bill, McCaskill declares that "the tops of our heads about blew off."
She and Gillibrand hauled representatives from the organizations into their offices, explaining how disastrous the legislation would be to victims of sexual violence. It worked. The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) have since withdrawn support for the Safe Campus Act. And no wonder—when Gillibrand remembers the encounter even weeks later, her fury is fresh and palpable: "Every campus administrator needs to be able to keep his or her campus safe. What we're offering in our legislation is the tools to do that, to flip the incentives and get it done."