Boston University has been in the spotlight lately for count after count of sexual misconduct, including multiple rape allegations, sorority hazing, and "Peeping Toms." Thank God Boston University's independent news daily, The Daily Free Press, got the chance to lighten things up a bit with their annual April Fools' Day "joke" issue! Every year, there's a different theme — last year was Lord of the Rings-themed and the year before was Harry Potter-related. This year, the theme was "The Disney Free Press." Cute, right? So innocent, just the opposite of, say, a hockey team with a repeated history of assault allegations. Except, wait — the lead story was called "BROken egos: BU fraternity suspended for assaulting female student." Come again? That title would sound suspect without any context, but given recent events, you'd think the community would be extra sensitive about rape jokes. Nah!
"The article goes on to be a terrifying story of sexual assault with only the vaguest, weirdest references to Disney," wrote the BU student who alerted us to the article. She continued:
"Considering the fact that BU's student body has endured scandal after scandal after scandal, it was in completely poor taste. Not only is it bad PR for the University: it's a slap in the face for everyone who's been victimized this year. It was a poor editorial decision. The sad part is that BU is not a school that condones assault. This past weekend, men and women on our campus came back together for Take Back the Night, which was hugely inspiring and successful. The ladies and gentlemen I've met at Boston University are in general an awesomely respectful bunch."
With that in mind, it's especially unfortunate and disheartening that some staff member thought it would be at best "timely" and at worst "hilarious" to make gangbang jokes about roofied sorority girls. Direct quote: "No one drinks like the BROs, no one shoots like the BROs and definitely no one should rape like the BROs" YEP. We can't make this shit up. The full text of the article is not available online [update: now it is, via Google Doc! click here to see it in full], so here it is in full for your reading "pleasure":
BROken egos: BU fraternity suspended for assaulting female student.
Seven frat dwarves were arrested last night after they allegedly drugged and gangbanged a Boston University student in an Allson Village cabin.
The female victim, described as the "fairest of them all," reported to have been roofied after drinking an appletini at the Beta Rho omega fraternity party , according to Captain Robert Hook of the BU Police Department.
The girl with raven black hair and bright red lips, Hook said, woke up wearing no clothes with seven BRO dwarves laying naked in bed with her. She called BUPD immediately and was sent to the Far Far Away hospital in Never Ever land.
"When we arrived at the scene she was surrounded by talking rabbits and birds," Hok said in an interview with the Disney Free Press. "I thought I had lost my fucking mind."
The seven BRO brothers were sent to the Allston Village jailhouse where they were released after each paying a $5,000 bail.
Allston Village District Attorney Peter Pan said the BRO members will appear in court next month. The BRO's face seven charges of sexual conduct and seven charges of drugging someone into unconsciousness. "Heigh-ho BROs we didn't do anything," said Sleepy, a senior in the College of Engineering and president of BRO, who is a suspect in the alleged sexual assault. "But heigh-ho heigh-ho it's off to jail we go."
BRO has been under serious review from the Interfraternity Council for the last month after allegations of illegal wild naked parties came to light earlier this year.
"BRO has bro0ed itself out," said Gaston, the Chairman of the IFC. "No one drinks like the BROs, no one shoots like the BROs and definitely no one should rape like the BROs"
The fraternity is known for its rousing parties where the "cocktails flow freely and bitches are easy," according to a BU student who wishes to remain anonymous."
The IFC as of this morning suspended BRO from all campus activities until further notice.
"The is unacceptable behavior. Female students should be able to assert their femininity without being assaulted," said Pocahontas, the president of Boston University's Center for Gender, Sexuality and Magical Creatures.
The CGSC is calling for a university-wide analysis of underage drinking on campus and the sterilization of all BU males.
"I want our women to be safe and I want our appletinis to be drug-free," Pocahontas said. "But most of all I want to be able to party without worrying about being gang-banged by a bunch of BROs."
The Daily Free Press did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and it looks like they never posted the article online to begin with. Does that mean they had a hunch it wouldn't go over well? It doesn't really seem like it, according to their earlier tweet: "Want a laugh? Pick up the FreeP tomorrow for our annual April Fools issue and your dreams will come true." Today, they issued a two-part apology: "We want to apologize for our ill thought out April Fools issue and are so sorry for offending our readers. We know an apology does not make up for the callous decisions we made, but please look out for a letter from the editors in tomorrow issue." We agree: their readers deserve an explicit explanation, not just an apology — and given that the paper won a Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists just a few weeks ago, it better be a pretty damn excellent one.
8:50 PM EST: A former DFP staffer emailed us to point out that the award pictured above was awarded to the Fall 2011 Editorial Board for their issue last semester, and therefore is unrelated to this semester's staff. Noted!
Know anything about the recent sexual assaults on BU's campus? Email Me — I'd love to talk.