Greeks to change sexual assault climate

Throughout the month of April, Sonoma State University has worked to create a safer campus by educating students on how to prevent and report sexual violence in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

Universities all over the country are working on ways to make their campuses a safer place. Greek organizations Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon have taken it to the next level. 

Live Your Oath is a campaign created to start a conversation and movement to end sexual violence on college campuses.

This campaign has started through trending social media posts, including a video. 

In the video, the sisters and brothers of the two organizations address common assumptions about sexual assault and share the facts. 

The video begins with clips of news reports from past occurrences of sexual violence on college campuses. 

“This is on all of us. Every one of us to stop campus sexual assault,” said President Barack Obama in a speech shown in the video. 

The Live Our Oath campaign was created with inspiration from the White House’s campaign, It’s On Us. Both share a common theme that it’s on the students to make a difference on their campus and to end sexual violence.

According to the video, sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the clear consent of the recipient. 

It also states that 9 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

Sonoma State is on board with the movement to end sexual violence on its campus. 

Sonoma State’s “Rights and Options for Victims of Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking” helps to provide the information for victims of sexual assault by sharing information about how victims of sexual assault can get help.

Students can get information on how to report sexual violence, rape and other types of assault by visiting sonoma.edu/crvd. 

The Campus Responses to Violence and Discrimination website home page has a link to the Title IX Notice of Non-Discrimination.

Joyce Suzuki, Sonoma State’s Title IX coordinator, is determined to create a safe environment for students. 

She has sent out a mandatory survey to all Sonoma State students to better promote awareness. Students who don’t complete the survey by June 30 will be dropped from their fall 2015 courses.

Suzuki has focused on Greek life at Sonoma State by presenting at Panhellenic, Interfraternity Council and Multicultural Greek Council round tables this past fall. 

The round tables consisted of leaders from every Greek organization on campus. Campus Life Adviser Micki Estuesta said, “Leaders in organizations tend to be the ones that people go to about these issues.” 

That’s why it’s important for leaders in Greek life to provide the right education and resources to their members.

Workshops and presentations are also given to Panhellenic new members within the month of them receiving their bids. Suzuki is also presenting, in every organization’s chapter, meetings this month about the differences between consensual and nonconsensual sex and the importance of consent. 

The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee and the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition, got together to lobby against colleges investigating sexual assault cases before a police investigation. Many organizations and campuses fought back.

Including an advocacy group called “Consent is So Frat,” which similar to “It’s On Us” and “Live Your Oath,” “promotes a culture of consent within fraternities and the Greek system” according to their website.

These groups and campaigns are working hard to spread awareness and education on college campuses. 

The men and women of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi are reaching out to their brothers, sisters, classmates and peers on campuses around the United States, to join the movement and “Live Your Oath.”

By spreading the word through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets, members of Greek organizations and leaders on college campuses are getting inspired and taking the oath.

Estuesta said, “There’s value in connecting it back to the choices and commitment that people make when they join Greek organizations. If all organizations choose to live up to their founding values and their oath, what an incredible organization and individuals they’ll be creating.”

The campaign hopes to bring Greeks and all students alike to stand up to a greater cause and to use power in numbers and education to stop sexual violence on college campuses.For more information on  Live Your Oath campaign, visit liveyouroath.org.