Women's March

Former state Sen. Danielle Conrad holds up a copy of the U.S. Constitution after addressing the crowd at the Women's March in Lincoln on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened a Title IX investigation into allegations that students verbally harassed protesters Saturday during the Women's March on Lincoln.

Hundreds of posts to social media following Saturday's march said members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity shouted sexually harassing statements at the protesters, including "No means yes" and a euphemism used by President Donald Trump in 2005 to describe grabbing a woman's genitals.

The march Saturday coincided with hundreds of similar events around the world. The Lincoln march started at UNL and followed Centennial Mall to the Capitol, with protesters using the sidewalks and streets in front of the Phi Gamma Delta house, also known as FIJI.

Anytime a member of the university community makes a claim of sexual assault or harassment, the university is required to investigate under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Investigations are completed by trained university staff independent of investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies, with a structure that involves students without compelling them to give evidence.

At the conclusion of the investigation, both parties are informed of the office's findings as well as its recommendations.

UNL spokesman Steve Smith said the allegations under investigation by the university are centered on students, not the Phi Delta Gamma fraternity as a whole.

"When we have a situation and allegations such as these it's our responsibility to examine and use all of the tools we have, including Title IX," Smith said.

The national office of Phi Gamma Delta on Sunday said it would open an investigation into the UNL chapter.

"Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity takes seriously the allegations regarding behavior of some members of our chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln," the national fraternity office said in a statement on its website. "The behavior that has been alleged is contrary to the values of our organization.

"We will be working with the chapter leadership and alumni advisers to investigate."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.


Higher education reporter

Chris Dunker covers higher education, state government and the intersection of both.

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