The University of Cincinnati is looking into how and why a banner welcoming incoming students and their parents with the message "your daughter got a gag reflex?" made its way onto an off-campus residence, the Enquirer reported on Friday.
The misogynistic message spread quickly on social media following a Facebook post by UC student Allison Purdy before university officials stepped in and launched an investigation, according to the Enquirer. While UC officials have not released any information about who originally hung the banner, UC spokesman Greg Vehr told the paper the Office of Student Affairs is treating the incident as a possible infringement of the student code of conduct.
"Students agree to a code of conduct, which applies whether or not they're on campus," Vehr told Fox 19. "Students agree to a code of conduct when they become a student at UC."
Democratic city councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was one of those who spread the image on Twitter, saying it "reinforces [the] need for collective effort addressing rape culture @ItsOnUsCincy".
According to the Enquirer, the UC Undergraduate Student Government Association has confirmed people tied to the university are involved, though the resident in question is not a fraternity.
In a statement on the university website, interim UC president Beverly Davenport said "I applaud our Student Government's statement today and stand with them and our entire community in deploring the despicable banner that was displayed near campus earlier this week. Please be assured we have taken every measure within our purview to investigate and deal with this incident."
In August 2015, Senate Democrats released a report using U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights data showing complaints of sexual violence rose 1,000% from 2009 to 2014, though Mic's Julie Zeilinger wrote the statistic likely reflects "that survivors are better educated about their rights and empowered enough to speak out and pursue action against their perpetrators." However, a report released in Sept. 2015 by the American Association of Universities found up to one in four undergraduate women have been the victim of some form of unwanted sexual contact, indicating rates of sexual violence at U.S. universities remain endemic.