Suspended UNL fraternity claims discrimination for supporting Trump in lawsuit against University
Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, commonly known as FIJI, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court earlier this week.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A suspended University of Nebraska-Lincoln fraternity is suing the University saying they were targeted by UNL chancellor Ronnie Green and others for its support of former president Donald Trump.
Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, commonly known as FIJI, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court earlier this week. The fraternity is currently suspended until 2026 after several allegations of sexual assault and harassment over the past five years. The most recent claim coming in 2021, which sparked a slew of large protests outside of the house on UNL’s campus.
In the lawsuit, Phi Gamma Delta claims it has been discriminated ever since many of its members publicly supported Trump’s inauguration during a “Women’s March” on UNL’s campus in 2017. The University suspended FIJI after that incident for making derogatory comments toward women during the march. That suspension lasted until 2020.
Since that march in 2017, FIJI says the University targeted the fraternity for misconduct including:
- Making false and misleading public statements regarding the basis for the chapter’s suspensions.
- Failing to follow the University’s Title IX policy regarding amnesty for alcohol violations if a student organization cooperates with an investigation.
- Enhancing punishments against the chapter on the basis that it was “a bad fraternity,” in reference to the expressive political speech by the chapter’s members around the time of the 2017 “Women’s March.”
- Making stigmatizing public statements insinuating the chapter and its members were guilty of sexual assault.
- Insinuating the chapter’s violations of the University’s alcohol policy were related to sexual assault or were in fact violations of the University’s policy
regarding sexual misconduct, which they were not.
FIJI’s lawyers writing in the lawsuit, “A claim that one committed sexual assault is not equivalent to a claim that one violated the University’s alcohol policies.”
Fraternity members, according to the lawsuit, reached out to UNLPD when the investigation into the alleged assault began in 2021. However, the chapter claims Green convicted the fraternity when he made an emotional speech condemning sexual violence on campus.
“Sexual assault is heinous and should never happen. I wish we lived in a world where it didn’t,” Green said in August of 2021.
UNLPD’s investigation into the alleged assault is ongoing.
A University spokesperson tells Channel 8 they cannot comment on the lawsuit due to pending litigation.