HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — A wave of sexual assault allegations made on social media has called into question the Greek life system at Northern Kentucky University.
"With so many stories coming out, we just need to do better," said Rachel Shirley, a member of the university's Delta Zeta sorority chapter, who graduated from NKU last month with a Master's degree. She also attended the university as an undergraduate.
She said she was at a fraternity party her freshman year when a man approached her from behind and forcibly kissed her and touched her inappropriately.
"I was so stunned because it was right in the middle of a party," she told WCPO. "There was tons of people; no one intervened. Nobody said anything. I was eventually able to shove him off me."
NKU sophomore Karla Arango declined WCPO's offer to speak on camera, but she gave us permission to share this Twitter thread, posted just after noon Wednesday, where she outlines her experience, she says, in response to seeing other students' posts:
I have seen a lot of women speaking out on their abusers so I think it is the perfect time to share my story. TW: Sexual assault
— Chief Petty Officer (@XPerfectKarlaX) June 10, 2020
WCPO Thursday spoke with Shirley, and she said fraternities and sororities do a lot of good at NKU, but she also acknowledges more needs to be done to prevent sexual assault in both Greek life and other parts of NKU's campus.
"Through all of our stories, even though they were such tragic events, it's been freeing and liberating to be able to share what happened and to try to get some justice," she said.
Shirley created a Change.org petition in support of the apparent increase in NKU students coming forward on social media with their stories of sexual assault.
In a statement Thursday, NKU officials said the university works "to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual assault, and we commend the students who have shared their traumas."
"We take allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, and we have policies and procedures in place to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct and specifically sexual assault. We all share a responsibility to create a vibrant community that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and respect," the statement read.
Here are some additional resources for people experiencing sexual assault in the Northern Kentucky area: