FSL takes the first of many steps against sexual assualt
Friday November 21, members of fraternity and sorority life tabled outside the EMU to encourage students, faculty and staff of the University of Oregon to take a stand against sexual violence in response to high percentages of sexual assault numbers within the community.
The start of this task for fraternity and sorority life is to become advocates for the White house’s campaign, “It’s On Us.” This initiative was started by president Obama in early September to put an end to sexual assault on college campuses, according to the white house’s website.
Studies have shown that 1 in 5 women during her college years will be a victim of sexual assault, according to the white house website. But according to surveys conducted at the UO, members of the Greek community have been found to be more likely to become victims than students not involved in the Greek life. According to a study done by Jennifer Freyd, a UO psychology professor, 48.1 percent of females and 23.6 percent of males in Fraternity and Sorority Life have experienced non-consensual sexual contact. To combat this statistic, the fraternity and sorority life community are taking the first of many steps to reverse these numbers.
“What we wanted to do as IFC and PHC is make sure that our community is really taking the lead on campus as far as awareness on the issue,” Morgan Plew, current Panhellenic Council president, said. “This is really just the first step, but we wanted to raise awareness in conjunction with the white house.”
This event included FSL members encouraging by-passers – both Greeks and non-Greeks – to sign a banner, which signified their agreeing to become advocates against sexual assault within their own communities. Along with this, both current IFC and PHC presidents Morgan Plew and Chase Salazar appeared in the UOregon YouTube video, “Ducks Do Something/”It’s On Us,” to further show their support for the cause.
“This issue isn’t going to be solved by myself or any one person, it needs to come from a community effort,” Max Lehman, future Interfraternity Council president, said. “It’s a great way for everybody to know that Greek life is taking a stance against sexual assault.”
To continue efforts of minimizing sexual assault, the Greek community will also be starting a sexual assault prevention task force, which will include one member of every chapter to act as liaisons between university specialists and the chapters, according to Plew. Currently the chapters are choosing who will be a part of the task force and members will be elected by the end of this term and will start their position week one of winter term.
The prevention efforts don’t stop there though.
“Moving forward we want to have educational programs, we want to install bystander intervention programs with our sober monitor training, and making sure the community understands the problem,” Francis Howitt, IFC vice president of accountability, said.
Overall, Greek life is looking to minimize sexual assault both in and outside on their community at the university. “We’re all passionate about this and we just want the community to come together and be passionate together about this too,” Howitt said.
To take your own stand against sexual assault, visit http://itsonus.org/#top
Follow Lauren Garetto on Twitter @laurengaretto
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