While a fraternity at Virginia's Old Dominion University is being criticized for displaying banners condemned as "offensive" to women, photos circulated online show that male students at many other campuses have been putting up nearly identical signs -- without prompting the type of negative reaction seen at ODU.
Sigma Nu at ODU is being investigated by its national office over its members' alleged involvement in putting up banners declaring a fraternity residence a "Freshman Daughter Drop Off" site. Those banners were first spotted Friday at the Norfolk, Virginia, campus. ODU was clear to note over the weekend that the banners were displayed at a private, off-campus residence. But on Monday, the university's Interfraternity Council said fraternity members were, in fact, involved, prompting the national chapter to say it would investigate.
Photos posted online indicate that this type of banner is something of an unofficial fall tradition, and not just at ODU. Similar banners, often using very similar language, can be seen on a number of other campuses, largely at fraternities. Yet compared to the recent backlash at ODU, none of the other banners have generated comparable outrage or condemnation from student and university leaders.
At a private residence at Ohio State University, male students made banners describing their house as a "Daughter Daycare" and saying "Dads, We'll Take It From Here." Some students and parents did question the display, but the residents of the house pushed back against the criticism.
"Our motives were not to insult or look down on anyone, not to be sexist. Our motive is just to have fun, it is college," an Ohio State senior who lives in the house told local NBC affiliate WCBD. His roommate added, "My dad, he is a good Christian man, I am a good Christian man, but we just do this for fun. We are not trying to cause any havoc or stir up any trouble, we are just trying to have some fun."
Sororities display banners on their houses as well, but often with much tamer jokes, virtually none of which are sexually suggestive.
Here are a number of photos that depict fraternities and non-Greek students displaying signs similar to the ones seen at ODU: