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Sep 1, 21

Iowa City: Thousands Take to Streets and Attack Frat House at Center of Brutal Sexual Assault

Report on recent riotous student mobilization against a frat well known for carrying out sexual assault in so-called Iowa City, Iowa.

Content Warning: Reports of sexual assault.

photo: @Ollie_XVX

According to an online petition that has now been signed almost 100K times:

On the night of September 5th 2020, a freshman girl went to hang out with her friends at the University of Iowa Fiji house while she had no clue what they had in store for her. This freshman girl was, drugged, raped, videotaped, and photographed, and left her with no memory of what they had done to her. Jacob Meloan and Carson Steffen planned to rape this girl, along with many others and continue to get away with it. Not only did these 2 boys plan this and carry it out, but they sent the videos to their entire FIJI group chat where no one said a thing to stop it. All of their members saw what they did to this girl, and the FIJI members just told them to delete their proof. These boys are still allowed on campus, and even showed up in the same class as the girl that they raped. The Iowa City detectives have messages of them planning to do this to her, they have their DNA, they have the videos, and the photos. Almost 1 year of struggling to get this case to court, the Iowa City judge told her that this case will not be taken to court, despite more than enough evidence. Since the courts wont give her justice, we need to do it ourselves. University of Nebraska isn’t the only FIJI house doing this. Shut Fiji down nationwide.

This was the call to action that mobilized around 2,000 students and community members. Failed again and again by the courts, the cops, and the University, hundreds and hundreds of pissed off youth began to show up with signs, noisemakers, and megaphones outside of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) frat, demanding that the rapists show themselves, and demanding that the University abolish FIJI.

Chants of “Cowards!” and “Fuck FIJI!” were heard from across town. Some people began to bang on windows, knock on the doors to the frat, and eventually, someone threw a rock through a window. This sparked an outright onslaught on the multi-million dollar frat house. Tags of “Rapists!” decorated the house, chairs and other furniture went through windows, glass and other debris littered the huge lawn.

Eventually it was revealed that the house was now empty, as the fraternity members had fled out the back and were now hiding in one of their satellite houses across town. The crowd of now over 2,000 people promptly made its way across the river and showed up in even more force at the frats other location. This house quickly saw the same redecoration as the other, as rocks, branches, and skateboards went through windows. Two cars parked behind the frat were smashed up and flipped completely upside down. The house was again revealed to be empty, as the frat members had fled once more. Upon this realization many protesters ran through the house, finding and destroying many FIJI labeled items. Beers were liberated from the houses fridges and coolers, and distributed among the protesters. Golf clubs taken from the house and used as instruments to break the house even more.

Responding to the scene were a timid Iowa City Police Department, who could do nothing but watch from two blocks away, attempting to scare the crowd away with sirens and lights. After the house was thoroughly ransacked for over an hour, many people began to leave the scene and return to their homes. Eventually the crowd thinned enough for the police to move in and secure the house. No arrests were made.

The events of August 31st, 2021 in Iowa City demonstrate that students and community alike are fed up with a widespread culture of sexual assault and misogyny among the Greek life scene. It also demonstrates that students will no longer accept being failed by the state and the University of Iowa in exercising accountability on these rich and influential frats. They will fight back on their own terms.

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