“There is nothing worse than a dry snatch.” These eight words were reportedly spoken by David Hagan at an event hosted this semester by the UNC Interfraternity Council. These words are misogynistic, vulgar and inexcusable. According to anonymous accounts from staff working at the event, the speaker “continually used disrespectful and obscene language that demeaned women and made light of serious issues such as alcohol abuse and sexual assault.”
Words have consequences, and events like the IFC speaker impact our community in immeasurable ways. These words are reflective of a broader culture of violence and oppression — they normalize violent actions in our community. We are righteously outraged at this behavior by the IFC. The system must be held responsible and face consequences. The Campus Y recently released a statement, available on its Facebook page, that clearly outlines our shared demands for accountability from IFC.
From hazing to alcohol abuse and sexual assault, the IFC fraternities at UNC have caused irreparable harm to our community for decades. There are broader implications to the rhetoric normalized by the IFC speaker. We write this letter to underscore how the IFC’s speaker was one instance in the long historical arc of violence at Carolina — one that has been maintained by decades of institutional inaction.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic that is forcing us to look clear-eyed at all of our societal ills. The manifestations of oppression and violence at Carolina is one of them. Furthermore, as the University shared in a campus communication on April 28, there is an urgent need to address violence during this crisis because “social distancing guidelines and closures can create an increased risk of violence for people isolated with abusive partners or family members and can create barriers to resources for people who need support.”
Collectively, we represent a team of students who are committed to preventing violence on campus. Several of us spent this year serving on the Chancellor’s “pre-coalition” to make up for the complete lack of implementation of recommendations developed by the University’s “Prevention Task Force” from 2015-2017. The University notoriously forms these pseudo-groups to “listen” to students. The cycle continues through forming “task forces,” “working groups,” “coalitions,” and “listening,” “hearing concerns,” “analyzing data,” yet never mobilizing to action.