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Kassidy Dietz

Prof. Fielding

WRTC 103

February 2017

Fraternities Contribution to Sexual Assault

The argument of whether fraternities are responsible for contributing to sexual assaults on

college campuses has been a big debate for years now. Angela Carone wrote an opinion piece on

how fraternities significantly contribute to the sexual problem geared toward incoming and

current female college students. Her article, Fraternities Are Significantly Responsible for the

Campus Sexual Assault Problem, is published on the Gale Database Opposing Viewpoints in

2016. The PSA created by Kassidy Dietz is published on college awareness sites in 2017. It

shows the same message as Angela Carones opinion piece. The rhetoric of Angela Carones

Opposing Viewpoints article showing that fraternities are connected to the sexual assault problem

on campuses shows equal amounts of ethos, logos, and pathos while Kassidy Dietzs connected

PSA uses mostly pathos to represent the argument but they both show the negative side to

fraternities and their relation to sexual assault in college.

Angela Carone discusses why fraternities are significantly responsible for sexual assaults

on college campuses. It starts out by giving a description of Carones viewpoint on the topic. She

feels sexual assault and fraternities are connected especially because of the parties they throw.

Then she delves into Greek life in general in America and sexual assault in college. The culture

of the fraternities is next by describing what goes on in the fraternities during a party. She

interviews people who have experienced the parties and they describe it as a place where

brothers get drunk, dance a lot, and then try to hook up with females who are at the party. Then it

goes into what the brothers do if a rape occurs and how they are trying to change the image with

a program. The last part talks about what the Greek system is doing to prevent this.

Carone uses strong sources to show ethos throughout the article to build up her credibility

and strengthen her argument when she pulls from a plethora of sources. Carones background

includes being an arts and culture reporter for KPBS in San Diego and has had work [appear]

in a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and other publications (Carone P. 1). She quotes

Nancy Sterling, a spokeswoman for the international chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon [TKE] to

show examples or anecdotes from real people in these positions or situations (Carone P.50). At

the end of the piece she goes to list Further Readings which shows how much research went

into writing this article and how much she cares for the topic (Carone P.59). All the sources used

in the article allow the reader to understand how much time and effort went into this process to

make the piece look credible to others for use. The credibility of the sources give support to the

ideas being discussed throughout and help build more of the ethical appeal.

Along with strong ethical appeals, Carone uses strong logical appeals to give support to

the main ideas in the piece. Carone talks about two case studies one in 2007 and the other in

2009 that are published in NASPA Journal that discusses that fraternity members are more

likely than non-fraternity members to commit rape (Carone P.8). This connects

back to the main idea about the connection between fraternities and sexual assault.

Later in the article, she discusses in the heading the culture of fraternities about

sexual assault on campuses in general. She uses David Lisak and Paul Browns

study from back in 2002 about perpetrators of sexual assaults who are never

charged or convicted and found out 6 percent of those surveyed in Lisak's study had

committed rape. The majority of them were repeat offenders (Carone P.30). She uses this to

provide more evidence on rape itself on college campuses and it made an impact on the message

of the article. Towards the end of the piece she uses statistical evidence from a major fraternity

insurer in 2010 that found sexual assaults accounted for 15 percent of the insurance claims filed

against fraternities. Flanagan is certain that number understates the problem. Unless a young

woman or her parents consult a lawyer, she likely doesn't know it's possible to file an insurance

claim against a fraternity (Carone P.37). The statistical evidence shows that women were not

likely to file any insurance claim or suit against a fraternity member which helps the main idea

grow. All the evidence that logos provided was used to show support for sexual assaults and


Stemming from the logical appeal, Carone uses strong pathos to convey her powerful

message of showing what fraternities will think or do during parties to the audience. Toward the

middle of the article, Carone cites Wesley Episcopo whos a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon; he

talks about rape and what is discussed with that term. He states when he discusses rape he

usually hears people say loud noise, dark, lots of people, plenty of alcohol" and that paints a

vivid picture of what a party is (Carone P.25). This conveys that they are helpless and there will

be danger at some point which stirs up emotions for a lot of people. In the section before this,

Carone discusses the word FratMANers and the means behind this acronym (Carone P.12).

Even though its an acronym, the creator still emphasizes the word man which could draw

attention to the word and make people intrigued. The last example is in the same area and

Episcopo discusses what guys typical responses to committing rape. He says They say, well she

was asking for it. She was wearing a short skirt, no clothes basically, and she was all themed-out,

dressed like a mermaid or whatever which makes the audience feel anger and shock because

this actually cannot be used as an accuse to rape to someone (Carone P.20). All the powerful

examples of pathos effectively help Carone display her message to her audience.

Figure 1.1 Fraternities contribute to sexual assault. Be aware of your surroundings.

Kassidy Dietz created the PSA titled FRATERNITIES CONTRBUTE TO SEXUAL

ASSAULT. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. She puts four images together to depict

an equation that leads to sexual assault from fraternities. She finds a party scene from a fraternity

plus images of alcohol and drugs that equal a female crying and upset to depict that a sexual

assault occurred. Dietz uses a quote at the bottom of the poster from Angela Carones opinion

piece to explain further statistics about the connection with Greek life and sexual assault. The

Collins Center backs this PSA because it deals with victims of sexual assault and loves the

message behind it. The PSA is geared toward current and incoming female college students.

Kassidy creates an impactful PSA by creating credibility and ethos. Kassidy is not an

authority when it comes to the subject about fraternities or sexual assault, but she is educated

enough to talk about the topic. She is a freshman at James Madison University who has

researched the topic thoroughly. Dietz gives credit to others in her PSA by citing Angela

Carones opinion piece at the bottom of the poster and she gives a link to her article. The Collins

Center which is a nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual assault in Harrisonburg,

backs this PSA, so Dietz gives the nonprofit credit by attaching a link to their site and adds their

logo to the bottom right. She makes sure that her voice is appropriate for her audience and the

subject being talked about. The PSA looks very professional and could be used in the fight

against sexual assault in general.

Dietz puts logical appeal in the PSA to add support to the argument that fraternities

contribute to sexual assault on college campuses. The PSA creates the logical claim that going to

a fraternity party that has alcohol and drugs in the mix will lead to a sexual assault. Dietz can

convey this with the help of Angela Carones opinion piece. Dietz puts the quote, Two studies in

2007 and 2009 published in the NASPA Journal suggest that fraternity members are more likely

than non-fraternity members to commit rape. One of those studies found that women in sororities

are 74 percent more likely to experience rape than other college women to add to the logical

claim and puts an emphasis on rape (Carone P.8). The one logical fallacy in this PSA is hasty

generalization because it says that all the factors in the equation Dietz created will lead to sexual

assault every time.

Kassidy uses a combination of images, words, fonts, and symbols to create the emotional

appeal needed. She brings together four images to create an equation to support the argument.

The image of the fraternity party brings the feeling of excitement for people or it can mean a

crowded dark place where things get out of control. Then add the images of alcohol and drugs to

the mix which make people feel uneasy and afraid of the outcome of the night. She then puts the

image of an upset female which conveys someone who is scared and in distress over what

happened. The audience connects with the PSA because Dietz used real images of real people

and photographs from real situations which makes the whole argument feel even more real. The

color of the text used is supposed to create a reaction out of the audience. The sexual assault is in

red which means danger to the audience. The black used for the fraternity party suggests that it

blends in just like people do at a party. The rest of the text is in white which makes it stand out in

the dark grey background to show its importance to the argument it is a necessity that it be read.

The quote, "Loud noise, dark, lots of people, plenty of alcohol sums up all the images and

creates a vivid picture on its own. The whole ad is very dark which means its a heavy subject

and should not be taken lightly.

The PSA and the verbal have some similarities but it also has a couple of differences too.

The PSA focuses primarily on the emotional appeal to capture the audiences attention. The

verbal argument uses an equal number of logos, pathos, and ethos to connect the audience to the

main argument. There are flaws in each but they are very small and hardly discernable. The PSA

gives the audience a chance to see vivid images of what goes on at parties. The verbal argument

is more powerful though because it gives many examples form the real world and goes more in


Works Cited

Carone, Angela. "Fraternities Are Significantly Responsible for the Campus Sexual Assault Problem."
Sexual Assault on Campus, edited by Jack Lasky, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing
Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 23
Feb. 2017. Originally published as "Fraternity Culture Linked to College Sexual Assault
Problem,", 21 Oct. 2014.