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Florida State students sit in on Sigma Lambda Beta to protest sexual assault

By Denzel Pierre |
November 12, 2019
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Students protest at Sigma Lambda Beta.
Students protest at Sigma Lambda Beta. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tallahassee, FL - On November 6, over 30 students held a sit-in at a Sigma Lambda Beta’s multicultural fraternity informational meeting. The students and allies of the survivors gathered at the Sigma Lamda Beta meeting to protest its alleged conduct and defense of members accused of committing sexual assault.

Junior Melissa Carcano, a survivor of rape, spoke on the importance of the sit-in, stating “I felt really anxious the whole day and when I got in there everything calmed down. It was like this is where I’m supposed to be right now.”

Carcano largely organized and led the protest after her messages and responses were ignored by the fraternity when she accused former member Nicarao Estrada of rape. “I just want to put the pieces together. You can’t undo what happened to me, but you can take a weight off my shoulder, you can give me one less thing to stay up at night wondering, you can give me a reason to live.”

When protesters entered Globe auditorium, Carcano confronted Sigma Lambda Beta Chapter President Alex Alvarado. The survivor asked why the organization ignored her previous attempts to redress her grievance against the perpetrator. She continued, “You can give me an answer and we’ll leave. This is a peaceful protest, we’re not here to riot, we’re not here to start a fight, we want dialogue.”

Alvarado responded, “The reason why it was so hard for me to help you back then is because I have my own traumas that I have experienced.” He went on to say that he wouldn’t allow Carcano to continue to “attack him publicly” and “put him in that position.” After back and forth confrontation with the protesters, Alvaredo decided to cancel the fraternity meeting and reschedule another time. The fraternity left the space and refused to answer any follow-up questions from protesters.

Carcano hopes that other survivors feel empowered to come forward. “I’m hoping that all of this, all this noise, can get someone to come forward, because we just need one more person to come forward at least Beta-wise and they can be shut down,” said Carcano.

Carcano went on to state that she hopes this sit-in inspires others to continue actions like this. “I started the fire, I need somebody else to keep it going.”

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