Approximately 500 people gathered around the Phi Alpha Kappa fraternity house in a protest against two accusations of sexual assault that allegedly involved the fraternity on Friday evening.
“Throughout my time at CU, it’s a common theme every season [that] someone gets assaulted at a frat party and no one gets held accountable,” said senior Seth Greer.
Starting at 5 p.m., the crowd gathered near the Center for Community before marching to the fraternity’s house. Once there, they found the lawn of the house enclosed by a metal fence and a police blockade to redirect traffic near the block.
The atmosphere was tense as fraternity brothers and sorority sisters watched the crowd from across the street. Some across the street played music or laughed as protesters chanted “PIKE Spikes” and “No means No.”
Several students also addressed the crowd, who spoke about their own experiences with sexual assault and demanded action from the university.
The university had several members of their Student Engagement Response Team observing the protest to help ensure the safety of the event.
“We are encouraged to see our students using their voices to speak about this incredibly important topic. We are here to support them,” said university spokesperson Andrew Sorensen, speaking on behalf of university Title IX coordinator Llen Pomery.
As the sun went down, the mood of the crowd changed and became more antagonistic. Two people climbed over the fence onto the windowsill of the house. In response, police shined lights into the crowd and demanded that they not damage private property.
At that point, the crowd became aggravated towards the police presence and directed some of their chanting towards them. Dozens of protesters found their way through the fence barricade and sat on the lawn of the fraternity house.
“I’m seeing a lot of hopeless and hurt and desperate people that are crying out for help,” said Carley Henderson, through the cacophony of police horns and protester chants.
Several times, police again demanded that protesters leave the private property and not trespass. Officers moved through the crowd and ask people to step onto the sidewalk while having a conversation with some of the protesters on the other side of the fence.
After no more than twenty minutes had passed, the police response changed. Officers moved their cars to end the roadblock and turned off the floodlights illuminating the crowd. Those behind the fence stood up and placed their signs across the lawn of the house.
Shortly after the police presence lessened, the crowd fully dispersed and most left the area. A police officer on the scene said that they did not make any arrests.
Correction: This article has been updated to clarify the statement by a university spokesperson.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Henry Larson at email@example.com.