Fraternity & Sorority LifeNews

FSL’s task force takes different approach than originally anticipated

With three times the amount of sexual assault in the community than the university as a whole, Fraternity and Sorority Life has created programs to combat that statistic, and believes that it’s beginning to change the culture.

FSL’s sexual assault prevention task force was originally a recommendation by the ASUO task force. When FSL started the task force, it had set ideas of how to run it. However, as time goes on, it is finding new ways to better educate their members in hopes of preventing sexual assault in its community and on campus.

Director of Sexual Assault Prevention Kerry Frazee is leading representatives from each chapter to educate them on different aspects of sexual assault. Frazee said that members learn about consent, bystander intervention, social norms, gender norms, perpetrators’ use of alcohol and the response process.

Frazee says what started as a model for individuals to bring back to their chapter as a 15-minute lesson has spurred into something much better. She said that chapter members have really taken the information and made it specific to their chapter, something that works well in the fraternity and sorority community.

“It (FSL) is designed to be a supportive community where you have resources and connections,” Frazee said. “I think there is so much value in having peers facilitate the discussion because there’s that trust of the person who is presenting. There’s also that full understanding of the population of the chapter; each chapter is different.” Frazee said that being able to individualize the lessons has created conversations among FSL that create engagement.

“Personally, I see the task force creating conversations within our chapter in regards to sexual assault prevention. Being able to talk about it in an environment with people who I trust makes having hard conversations easier too,” Delta Upsilon member Kyle Wizner said.

In addition, representatives from the task force are seeing this model unfold in a way that seems to really be working in their personal chapters.

Delta Tau Delta representative Zach Lusby said that a personalized approach for each house has made learning more effective.

“It’s impossible to gauge how effective these workshops are on an individual level because we all perceive them differently and they are instituted differently in every single house,” Lusby said. “Yes we’re still very focused on education, and we’re still incredibly devoted to ensuring that everyone is educated about it, but we’re also creating a conversation and I don’t think that’s necessarily as expected as it was when the task force was put in place.”

Lusby said that the ability to create conversations and engage with the community is what is really making this task force work. In fact, he said that he already feels safer in the fraternity and sorority community since the implementation of the task force.

“It’s hard to see that in a way that is represented through tangible numbers, and you just can’t do it. The statistics haven’t come out for the most recent climate survey, but I can say that at a social level things are beginning to change,” Lusby said. “On a personal level, I am feeling more comfortable by the day.”

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Lauren Garetto

Lauren Garetto