In a year when sexual assault was brought to the forefront of the fraternity/sorority conversation, here is a group of guys that aren’t just talking a good game about prevention, they’re actually doing something about it. Sigma Phi Epsilon at the University of Northern Iowa is holding an entire week of festivities in the name of sexual assault awareness. These dudes just blow me away with their commitment to their cause.
As with last year, the main purpose of Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW) is “to educate peers, professors and community members on how to watch for signs of sexual assault, along with prevention methods.” Events included earlier this week were a 24-hour seesaw ride, intended to demonstrate sexual assault can happen anytime, and a screening of and discussion around “We the Survivors,” a short film developed by UNI graduate student and sexual assault survivor Vanessa McNeal.
Events for the rest of the week include the “Snag A Sig Ep” date auction, a women’s self-defense class, a Mentors in Violence Prevention session, and a cookie/pamphlet distribution. And all week long, the brothers will be asking their fellow students to raise awareness on social media.
— Claire Lawler (@c_lawlipop2) April 5, 2016
— Hunter Flesch (@hunterflesch) April 4, 2016
— Lorelei Chodur (@lorelei_chodur) April 4, 2016
While the focus is on awareness, funds will also be raised and donated to Cedar Valley Friends of the Family, a local domestic violence shelter.
The issue is a personal one for the brothers. “We all have women that we care about: mothers, sisters, girlfriends. As men, it’s our duty to ensure that we are doing all that we can to ensure their safety and the safety of all women, especially on college campuses. For us, one sexual assault is too many and we won’t stop until we’ve solved this problem,” said Alex Stepanek, Sigma Phi Epsilon member.
The chapter’s president, Jared Riter, added, “I take part in raising awareness for sexual assault on our college campus because I have friends that are victims of sexual assault. When I see a UNI alert that there has been another sexual assault on campus, it tears me apart inside because I know that it can be prevented. I want to help lead the way with male leadership on college campuses to show students that they can make a difference in helping make campus safer and to show students they can make an impact that is sustainable and positive.”
I couldn’t be more impressed. Good job, guys..
You can learn more about UNI SigEp’s SAAW by following them on Twitter.
Image via Twitter