Baylor student Hana Marsheck is worried about a fraternity possibly returning to the campus in the spring.
This is because its former president is Jacob Anderson, who just pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint in return for prosecutors dropping sexual assault charges.
Marsheck worries about what kind of message would it send to students, but more importantly to sexual assault survivors, if the school allows the Phi Delta Theta fraternity to return.
Anderson is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the party in 2016.
“It would send a message of kind of acceptance of sexual assault, and that is the last message we wanna be sending,” Marsheck says. “It was not just that one man that they were having issues with, it was kind of whole culture.”
Baylor University emailed us this statement in response:
“The fraternity chapter continues to be suspended and there is no change in their status.”
“Suspending them was an appropriate action. I think they could have even expelled them,” Marsheck says.
She thinks there is one way the new fraternity could be allowed back on campus.
“If they both acknowledged what happened in the past and condemned it and even potentially took steps to help sexual abuse survivors,” Marsheck says.
FOX44 has shown you the online petition geared to convince judge Ralph Strother to reject Anderson’s plea deal.
“I hope that the judge is a reasonable man. That he is not accepting this plea deal,” Marsheck says.
We wanted to get McLennan County’s next district attorney Barry Johnson’s thoughts on the case.
He told us that without looking into this case and knowing all the details it would be irresponsible and unethical for him to comment.
As of Monday, almost 30,000 people have signed the petition asking Judge Strother to deny the plea deal. The original goal was just to get 5,000 signatures.
If you wish to check out the petition, here is the link.
FOX44 also reached out the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and Foundation and here is their response:
“Phi Delta Theta has a long history with Baylor University dating back to 1977 and looks forward to working in concert with university officials and local alumni to return to campus.
“As exhibited by the swift expulsion of Mr. Anderson and the closure of the local chapter, we are a values-based organization committed to promoting a culture of responsibility and remain vigilant in protecting the safety of our members and guests.
“Any behavior that is abusive or offensive towards women directly contradicts those same values and violates our organizational policies.”