American University Erupts Over Date Rape

Though laws vary from state to state, a person's consent can be compromised because of age, mental disability and lack of consciousness (under drugs or alcohol) or even a state of duress, according to Hull.

"If someone doesn't have the capacity to consent, they can't," she said.

Leanna Swain, a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas, has a close friend who was a victim of date rape, and says the consequences were "disastrous."

"It's horrific," she said. "It doesn't matter if she is drunk or sober, if she doesn't want to have sex and makes that known in some way, then it doesn't matter if they are in a frat room, a hotel room or an apartment. It's rape."

"Anyone who has ever made out on a bed with any alcohol in their system and not been raped should be grateful that that the opinions held by this columnist were not held by their partner," said Swain.

But Knepper said women give "implied consent" when they put themselves in the "sexual arena" at a party where there is an expectation that there will be drinking and sex.

"If she cannot summon up the strength to say 'no,' she shouldn't be engaging in anonymous sex," said Knepper. "In that situation, men can only know the information that is given to them."

He defends his position that men need clarity and not mixed signals.

"If you say unequivocally no, then it's a real rape," said Knepper, who is adamant that rape is a heinous crime that should be severely punished.

According to Department of Justice statistics, in more than three-quarters of all college rapes, the offender, the victim or both had been drinking, which impairs good judgment.

Which was precisely Knepper's point.

"The EI frat on campus is notorious for its hardcore parties and which do end up with manipulating and drugging," he said. "If you do not accept the risk, things go awry."

EI is short for Epsilon Iota, an underground fraternity at American University. Its charter was pulled by the national organization, and its recognition was withdrawn at American because of "misconduct," according to school officials.

"While it's not a woman's fault, it's incredibly stupid behavior to go to that party," he said. "Knowing what you are getting yourself into is what being an adult is, knowing the risks and the signals beforehand."

Student: 'Hook-Up Isn't A Rape'

A surprising number of American University students agreed with Knepper, according to campus reports. So did some at other colleges.

Princeton University ran a similar column on the topic in Februrary.

"If you put yourself in certain situations, there are always consequences," said Becca Forsythe, a 20-year-old student from Texas A&M. "A random hookup is not rape. In my eyes, that is just her trying to cover up for her own irresponsibility.

"What about riding in a car without a seatbelt on?" she asked. "If you get in a wreck and become severely injured, there is definitely some blame [because] you did not have a seatbelt on.

"Rape is always a touchy subject, but in this case, where you are drinking and letting your guard down, you cannot say you were taken advantage of unless someone drugged your drinks," she said.

Luke Turner, a 21-year-old from Sam Houston State University, said girls who make mistakes are often "looking for a scapegoat" and blame fraternities.

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