U. Greek Life ‘builds that trust’ with campus community after sexual assaults

Two months after the University of Utah temporarily suspended all fraternity and sorority activities following reports of sexual assaults, Greek life leaders have implemented a training and education program “robust”. (Don Grayston, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two months after the University of Utah temporarily suspended all fraternity and sorority activities when a second student came forward to report a sexual assault at a fraternity house in the city. ‘U., Greek life leaders have now implemented a “robust” training and education program. .

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority released a letter to the campus community on Monday in which they acknowledge that the previous assault allegations have raised legitimate issues and that they have work to do to restore trust between the students.

“To the victims and survivors who have been harmed by members of the community, please know that we believe you and stand with you. Thank you for your courage to come forward. We recognize that for some of you, we may have – be broken your trust and we are committed to restoring that trust and helping to solve it, ”the letter reads.

In January, the university issued a security alert, notifying members of the campus community of a September assault at the Kappa Sigma house.

According to a blog post by Allie Moore, a student employee at the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention in the United States, the alert sparked an outpouring of people who came forward to discuss their heartbreaking experiences of sexual assault on the app. social media anonymous Yik Yak, with most experiences involving Greek life.

An article states: “I was sexually and physically assaulted in a fraternity as a woman in Greek life, it spoiled my experience to some extent because of the feeling of discomfort and nothing happened, little no matter what I said.”

These reports, along with the subsequent temporary suspension of Greek Life activities, prompted fraternity and sorority leaders to reach out to campus groups working in victim advocacy, survivor support, and violence prevention to develop a comprehensive set of education and training requirements for all Greek affiliates. the life.

“Making statements is a start, but there must be actions that come with those statements. We have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks having intentional conversations with fellowship and community leaders, advisors, and stakeholders. sorority who were tough, honest and tough,” the letter reads.

Through these discussions, training to be delivered through the Center for Student Wellness has been put in place. The training will cover the following areas:

  • Safer party culture
  • Building a community through the intervention of spectators
  • Focus on healthy relationships
  • Let’s talk about sex

“Our fraternity and sorority chapter leaders and their members engage in serious personal reflection and have the difficult conversations necessary to move forward productively and responsibly,” Jason Ramirez, dean of students, said in a statement.

In the letter, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life reaffirmed its commitment to working with campus partners such as the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention, the Center for Student Welfare, the Office Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the Dean’s Office. students.

At the same time, organizational leaders will need to develop accountability measures as well as communication standards and guidelines for dealing with future reports of sexual assault.

“We recognize that our plan moving forward must be a holistic approach to understanding community norms and concerns in order to more effectively focus violence prevention as well as address risk management practices, physical, emotional and mental well-being, leadership skills and relationship dynamics,” the letter states.

A detailed version of the Office of Fellowship and Sisterhood Life’s Community Action Plan is available here.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for KSL.com, covering Southern Utah communities, education, business, and military news.

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