According to National Crime Victim Surveys, each year 1 in 4 college women report being raped, 84% of which knew their attacker. Studies of college campuses show that 43% of college men admit to using force in a sexual situation but have not faced legal prosecution. Additionally, it has been determined that fraternity members and sport teams account for 55% of all reported gang rapes in the U.S. A practical way that policy and rape culture in Boulder County can be changed is to increase education about rape laws, statistics, the cultural norms that perpetuate this epidemic, and the importance of bystander intervention. This is why we aim to require high-risk populations to attend rape awareness seminars. University of Colorado sports teams, athletic departments, and sororities all volunteer their time to rape prevention awareness presentations annually and/or semi-annually hosted by and/or supported by the Boulder County District Attorney's Office and Sexual Assault Unit, in collaboration with the University. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities currently do not participate.
Ultimately, we hope that increasing rape prevention and awareness within the IFC through law enforcement collaboration will lead to a Greeks Against Sexual Assault organization, much like that created by Colorado State University IFC and sorority members through CSU Police Department collaboration.
In 2005 fraternities were split, with half abiding by laws and being legally represented by the University. These are known as Multi-cultural Greek fraternities. Multi-Cultural Greek fraternities and sororities consistently attend rape awareness seminars. Whereas Interfraternity Council fraternities (IFC) are not legally bound by University requirements. Therefore, there are no requirements for IFC members to attend presentations on rape prevention.
Interfraternity Council members (non-affiliates of the University) have historically declined participation in Boulder County rape awareness and prevention presentations and seminars. Interfraternity Council members justify this rejection by arguing that they host their own rape and alcohol awareness seminars. However, local rape statistics are increasing despite this development. Attempts to further understand the content and structure of the IFC seminars have been relatively unsuccessful. That said, our suggestion is that ALL fraternities, both Multi-cultural and Interfraternity, collaborate with University Professor Dr. Glenda Walden and local law enforcement’s current programs in order to reframe and provide consist information on the important topic of rape. This would help remedy any possible inconsistencies within fraternity rape education.
A focus has never been to make the IFC feel like we are accusing them of being an organization of rapists. That is most certainly not our intention. What we do want is to let them know that their support is crucial to this fight. Men can stop rape. We need strong men from our community to stand up with us and say “rape ends here.” But first all parties must be educated with consistent information regarding sexual assault prevention. Their proactive involvement can help change social norms regarding sexual interaction, it can help encourage bystander intervention through education, and it can help decrease the stigma of rape through awareness, support, and community outreach.
As young citizens of the community, Greek system member beliefs regarding rape are crucial to changing rape culture nationally. Changing laws surrounding a college town like Boulder, is a step toward encouraging other college campuses to increase rape awareness in the Greek system. Common practice among rape prevention awareness on college campuses is to educate females on self-protection. However, it is our belief that women need not be the only people responsible for preventing an assault; instead men need to be held accountable for their own actions and predatory decisions.
Please sign this petition to tell the CU Interfraternity Council to collaborate with local law enforcement and to make annual rape prevention seminars mandatory for the Greek Community.
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