Those who may have been abused at Northwestern frat houses are not about to move on

Incidents like those alleged at Northwestern have been going on for decades. Maybe we are finally giving women permission to report them.

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Sun-Times Media

Northwestern University has suspended all fraternity activities at least until Oct. 17. This includes social events and recruitment activities. Allegations have been made that individuals (read women) were drugged without their consent at on-campus fraternity houses, which are supposed to be free of alcohol. What about drugs?

Let’s see. Fifty or more men between the ages of 18 and 22 are housed together with no supervision. Women are free to enter the house at any time. What could go wrong? 

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Back in the dark ages, when I was in college, fraternities had “house mothers.” This was usually an older woman who lived in the fraternity house and was present all the time. This was definitely a deterrent for bad activities , with or without girls present. Women had “closing hours” at their residences when they were supposed to be behind closed doors until morning. ( I remember the rush of guys in cars driving off campus to bars after closing hours had shut the ladies into their dorms and sorority houses.)

Incidents like those alleged at Northwestern have been going on for decades, in and out of fraternities. Maybe we are finally deciding to give women permission to report them. I hope that such reports will be taken seriously. Corrective actions should not be put off until everyone “forgets” about them. I guarantee those being abused will not forget.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

Bring back Art Institute docents

I just need to add my voice to those of the many people who are horrified that the Art Institute of Chicago would dismiss its exceptional volunteers. So many of us have wished that we were as diligent and committed as these docents. They have truly studied and are prepared to address the museum’s art treasures on so many levels.

Not many organizations have such an educated cadre of volunteers. Why would the museum end what it cannot possibly create again? Why the decision to hire docents instead?

No one has offered a good reason.

I hope the Art Institute will reverse this dire action and offer sincere apologies to those who were dismissed.

Katherine H Miller, Westmont

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