Last year Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Maryland became the first fraternity in the nation to become officially recognized as a Safe Haven, which means they completed a training that taught them how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, guide survivors to seek help and educate communities on the issue.
They didn’t stop there.
They continued to take an active stance against human trafficking by assisting eight other Greek organizations to become Safe Havens this past week. The chapter helped guide the other Greek chapters to receive their certificates by hosting the training and providing the resources necessary.
According to the Diamondback, between 130 and 140 people were in attendance for the mandatory training in which participants learned about the how to identify victims, as well as how someone may be recruited and targeted. It also included a viewing of the documentary “Chosen,” the portrayal of two heartbreaking stories of human trafficking victims. According to Louise Dickson, Maryland volunteer coordinator for the Safe Haven Campaign, the main focus of the campaign is simply raising awareness because most people don’t understand it’s an issue in the United States.
Kodiak Carb, a senior at the University of Maryland and the community service chairman of Alpha Sigma Phi, stressed the importance of creating, “a sphere of influence and knowledge that might result in the eventual rescuing of someone from human sex trafficking.”
He hopes that by educating the members of Greek life who chose to participate, the word about human trafficking will start to spread. “Maybe they just talk to their parents. Maybe they just talk to their friend. Maybe they just talk to their roommate, but that’s 300 people that have been educated on this issue.”
The President of the chapter, sophomore Brooks Gearhart, is thrilled to be involved in the movement saying, “We’re proud to be the chapter that is leading the initiative and realizing that we are making a difference at the University of Maryland.”
Hopefully, more campuses across the nation will become Safe Haven certified in an effort to combat human trafficking. The Alpha Sigma Phi hopes to continue making strides in the community and hopes that the negative stigma of Greek life will soon fade. Carb believes “actions speak volumes to the culture we are trying to create and the culture that I’d like all of Greek life to share.”.
[via Diamondback News]
Image via Christian Jenkins/The Diamondback