Some ASUO members threaten to halt FSL expansion in response to latest Climate Survey results
Results of the latest campus Climate Survey, conducted by University of Oregon psychology professor Jennifer J. Freyd, revealed that 100% of Fraternity and Sorority Life-affiliated female students who reported non-consensual sexual contact were violated by male perpetrators.
“Imagine that Greek Life is a red square, taped on the ground, and if you walk into that red square, you are three times as likely to be sexually assaulted,” said Zach Lusby, the Associated Students of the University of Oregon senate seat three. “Why on earth are we making more squares?”
After the results from the Climate Survey were published, FSL conducted an external review, an assessment managed by professionals who are not affiliated with the UO and its FSL, on Oct. 12 and 13.
“The external review extends beyond sexual assault and includes other issues such as hazing, community accountability, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, staffing and resource allocation, community culture, values congruence and recruitment, etc.,” Director of FSL Justin Shukas said in an email.
Certain members of ASUO are working on a draft of the new resolution, differing from the last resolution in that it enacts harsher consequences for chapters and individuals within them that violate their organization’s values or the student conduct code. Another piece that could also be in the new resolution is the recommendation to halt the expansion of Greek Life that is not already chartered or contracted with UO, specifically for fraternities due to Title IX issues, Lusby said.
“I don’t think we should be punishing sororities for fraternity members who are raping people,” Lusby said. “It is never a survivor’s fault in any situation that they were sexually assaulted.”
The new resolution is to be submitted to the senate after the external review is published.
“The external review is coming without any preconceived notion of what UO Greek Life is and the UO campus survey is how the students at UO are feeling about us,” said Kyle Heiner, FSL liaison and ASUO executive. “As a Greek group we have to look at these Climate Surveys and come together to take them seriously.”
Lusby says it is really a challenge to get people motivated to do this work.
“The fact that I have to be so precise about my wording and have to be so careful as to not offend Greek Life is a little offensive to me because I am prioritizing the well being of fraternity and sorority members, when we need to be putting survivors first,” Lusby said.
Shukas says they are continuing to do whatever they can to eliminate sexual violence and sexual harassment in any form.
Evidence-based practices are best in addressing this situation, said Shukas.
“After reviewing results from the various research surveys and external reviews, we will move forward with evidence–based best practices for our organization,” Shukas said in an email.
Lusby said he is working toward a communal process between FSL and ASUO.
“Nothing’s ever going to get done if there’s a line in the sand, so I’m hoping this resolution has the power to unite us in fighting sexual violence for the good of everyone,” Lusby said.
Those with ideas or concerns about the new resolution can email Lusby at [email protected] to converse over email or during his office hours.