I need your help. This past week, I met with someone who works in Residence Life at a major university here in Philadelphia. She does a lot of work revolving around leadership, diversity, and social justice. She's asked me to speak to the students at this school involved in the Greek Life community (fraternities and sororities) and possibly athletes as well regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Why are we doing this? Because the lifestyle associated with fraternities and sororities makes it much easier for sexual assault to occur. Because girls who are involved in Greek Life are much more likely to experience rape than the normal student body. Because at this particular school, there have been dozens of reported cases of sexual assault in the last couple of years alone.
The reasons go on and on and on. It's an issue that has to be addressed. But we have a huge challenge ahead of us--how do we get through to a bunch of students who don't necessarily want to hear the message or who don't understand their role in preventing sexual assault and harassment?
It's a challenge I welcome and cherish. I'm grateful to have it.
This is where I need you. I'd love to have as much help and perspective as possible as I think through my approach.
I want to throw out a question as an initial catalyst to get your thoughts and stories. The question is this:
If you had the chance to say anything to students (particularly those in the Greek Life community) regarding sexual assault/harassment, what would you say?
Maybe you have a story--an experience that might reach someone. Maybe you have some advice based on what you've gone through or seen. Maybe you know someone who has experienced some terrible things because of a lack of awareness about these issues. Maybe you're involved in Greek Life now or have been at some point and can offer some thoughts.
If you do, if you have anything, I would love to hear from you.
Email your story or thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find me on Facebook and send me a message.
I understand some of your stories may be sensitive and difficult. I promise that I'll protect your privacy and identity if it's a story I can use with the students. Additionally, if you'd like to send me your story or thoughts but don't want me to share it with anybody and would like me to simply hear it, please still send it. I'm welcome to any and all perspectives and information that can help me attack this challenge. It all helps.
Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the support.