Tell FratPAC to Change their Sexual Assault Legislative Agenda
This petition had 716 supporters
Greek life members who work in campus sexual assault advocacy have come together recently with concern over the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition's (FGRC) latest initiative. On April 29th, FGRC, which includes the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC, or FratPAC, will lobby Congressional offices to remove universities’ right to act promptly and independently in cases of sexual violence and misconduct on campus. If enacted, this proposal will make campuses less safe, not more. Unfortunately, two major Greek governing bodies, the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), have endorsed FGRC’s efforts with FSPAC. .
There are a number of concerns we have with this initiative, including:
- FSPAC’s current plan revokes a survivor’s right to bring the case to their university to adjudication before "completion of criminal adjudication (investigation and trial)". This makes it more difficult for universities to suspend or sanction individuals and organizations for sexual assault until it is reported to the police, charges are pressed, it is brought to trial, and a decision is reached. The criminal justice system takes months, and often years, to complete. During that time, universities will struggle to act to protect and accommodate survivors on campus as easily and as quickly— actions that can create a safer school environment. If passed, the current language effectively cripples some respite a survivor could have in the time the justice system is investigating (or the option not to divulge to the system at all), a violation of Title IX and in complete contradiction against what all research and best practices policy shows.
- Removing university control would not only force a Title IX exemption in the way universities handle sexual assault on their campuses, it also extremely limits the options for survivors and discourages them from coming forward for help. By forcing the hands of assaulted students, you remove one of the most crucial pillars of recovery: choice. When survivors are no longer able to choose how their cases are handled, when, and by whom, we create a culture of silence that tells the survivor that “we” know better what is right for them than they do. It takes autonomy away from a person desperately trying to reinstate it into their lives. Loss of survivor agency will mean fewer reports: we often hear from survivors that, were they forced to take their case to law enforcement, they would simply report their assault to no one at all because criminal proceedings are so burdensome and triggering. If FSPAC succeeds in limiting options for survivors, fewer reports will be made, meaning more perpetrators will roam free.
- Without a university's ability to investigate, the institution is stripped of control of a major part of their campus. This proposed legislation blocks schools’ ability to assess and investigate safety concerns independently in an effective and timely manner, which is in the best interest of all parties. It hinders the process of removing students who didn’t belong in our chapters & schools to begin with, and that helps no one.
- Particular kinds of victimization prohibited under Title IX still aren't illegal under many state laws (ex: several states don't yet recognize same-sex violence or some acts of dating violence, cyberbulling/stalking, etc). The most marginalized survivors, whose experiences aren't recognized under state criminal law, will experience gross delays in accessing resolution as a result of this proposal
It is important now that we tell FSPAC how we feel about their proposal. We cannot work to prevent sexual violence and promote consent if we do not also support survivor’s ability to control their narrative and make choices after the fact. We have to push for legislation that will create the same culture we’re working towards on the ground, and FSPAC's current efforts do not deliver. That is why it is so important that we tell FSPAC, NIC, and NPC that this is not living our values— this is not being Greek.
Given these concerns— hindering the survivor, the school, and the safety of the campus in general— we believe the current FSPAC effort is harmful for Greek life and not conducive to our stated values. It fails to accurately represent who Greeks are and what we all ought to stand for in the effort to eradicate sexual assault. We should be collaborating to improve our campuses and our schools, not fighting against the very institutions that accommodate us.
Whether you are Greek-affiliated or independent, student or alumni, we invite you to join us in voicing your concerns. It’s time all affected parties influence those that represent us,our campuses and alma maters.
1. Contact the relevant parties: campus administrators, Greek life offices, organization headquarters & NPC/NIC delegates, on-campus Panhellenic and IFC councils, and the FSPAC. Tell them your concerns with the proposal as it stands and that it is the wrong move. Urge them to get on board to change the initiative, and to relay that message up through their ranks.
2. Sign our petition to demonstrate the need for a better legislative agenda— one that represents us all. Make your voice heard.
Let's send a strong, unified message to FSPAC and to Congress: Greek life can do better. We know it can.
Today: Julia Dixon, PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment is counting on you
Julia Dixon, PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment & Matt Leibowitz, Consent is So Frat needs your help with “Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, North American Interfraternity Conference, National Panhellenic Conference: Tell FratPAC to Change their Sexual Assault Legislative Agenda”. Join Julia Dixon, PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and 715 supporters today.