Following the sexual assault at an off-campus fraternity party last month, men in the Greek system are stepping up efforts to combat rape.
This spring, the Interfraternity Council will require all fraternities to send 75 percent of their current brotherhood and all new members to attend a training session on preventing sexual violence, according to IFC President and Wharton senior Shawn Woodhull.
The sessions will be led by One-in-Four, an all-male group founded at Penn in 2006 that aims to eliminate sexual violence and help victims of sexual assault.
In the past, the One-in-Four training session was one of many options given to new fraternity members before initiation as part of new member education, said Woodhull. He added that in the past, that program has been one of the most popular choices. Some chapters even chose to participate in One-in-Four training outside of the IFC-sponsored program.
One-in-Four President and College senior Josh Pollack attributed the strong ties between his organization and the Greek community to the large number of fraternity brothers involved in One-in-Four. According to Pollack, the group boasts members of seven different fraternities.
Participation in the One-in-Four sessions for new members will only be mandatory in the spring semester for now, but it will serve as a test of whether IFC and One-in-Four will continue the policy in the future, he said.
According to Pollack, One-in-Four approached IFC and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs following the recent sexual assault with suggestions for handling the situation. Together, they made the decision to expand the program to educate more Greeks.
“The IFC has recognized that sexual assault is clearly something that is present at Penn and given the values-based nature of fraternities and sororities, it is a grave concern to all of us as Greeks,” said Woodhull. “As such we are taking a much more aggressive approach to increase education.”
In addition to expanding participation in the training, One-is-Four modified the program — which focuses on the experience and aftermath of being sexually assaulted for a woman and on how to help a sexual assault survivor — to be more interactive.
The organization plans to measure the effectiveness of the sessions by distributing a survey to fraternity brothers.
According to Woodhull, Greek participants will take the survey before and after completing the training to gauge both how their perceptions about sexual assault have changed and what they learned during the program.
Scott Reikofski, director of OFSA, said he is pleased with the decision.
“Fraternity men are involved in every level of undergraduate life,” he said. “If they can bring their knowledge and leadership on this issue throughout the rest of the undergraduate culture, it can begin to create the kind of a safe environment that should support the community at Penn.”Comments powered by Disqus
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