Recently, San Diego State University's Greek life has been under a microscope.
After a public controversy surrounding alleged harassment of SDSU's anti-rape activists at a Take Back the Night march and seven fraternity-related sexual assaults at SDSU, it's safe to say that the Greek community has been under some pretty heavy scrutiny.
While these events happened at a very unfortunate time, the Greek system has been doing its best to help solve the growing issue of sexual assault on college campuses.
Due to these events all coinciding with each other, there was some heavy backlash towards the Greek community. The incident involving the Take Back the Night protesters was so disastrous that it lead to a publication labeling the harassing fraternity men as "the world's worst humans."
Although the man arrested on sexual assault charges was not personally affiliated, he had many ties to Greek life, therefore leading many to lay the blame on Greek life. While the police report originally stated it was at a fraternity on campus, in reality it was at a house nearby a fraternity.
However IFC, the InterFraternity Council at SDSU, has taken initiative to help combat the issues of sexual assault on campus and remove the stigma from the Greek community. Immediately after the and the Take Back the Night march fiasco, IFC announced a voluntary suspension on all fraternity social events. I personally received the email stating this probation.
While there was some confusion on the students' part, we all participated and supported the probation.
The purpose was to take time to become more aware of how to stop sexual assault through sexual violence and bystander training. The entire Greek community was required to complete the "Agent of Change" sexual assault interactive training videos. While it is nearly impossible to get 100 percent of any community to do anything -- the Greek community will not resume social events until those training videos are completed by every single member of every chapter.
Due to the Take Back the Night marchers being harassed with dildos and eggs, there was an IFC committee put together to investigate the fraternity involved, Delta Sigma Phi, more commonly known as "Delta Sig." Delta Sigma Phi has since been removed from the campus and will not be able to petition to re-colonize until, at the very least, fall 2016.
There are already several Greek organizations and initiatives in motion to try and combat the stigmas associated with Greek life. "FratMANers," which stands for "Fraternity Men Against Negative Environments and Rape Situations," is a group on campus intended for fraternity men to increase awareness of sexual assaults and the environments that have the potential to lead to them. There is also "Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol," otherwise known as GAMMA. GAMMA is also a group on SDSU's campus with a similar initiative. Their goal is to help the Greeks keep and maintain safe environments for everyone.
From what I've seen, the Greek community is doing its best to help combat sexual assault on campus. We are united in our efforts to end this horrific epidemic of sexual assault.
However, personally, I feel it's the rest of the campus' responsibility as well.
There has been little done by the entire campus to increase awareness and training to stop possible sexual assaults. The Greek community knows that "it's on us" to stop sexual assault. Now it's time to educate the entire student body about bystander training and how to not put yourself or others in the situation where sexual assault is possible.
Unfortunately -- the harsh truth is -- sexual assault is not an issue that will ever completely go away. There will always be people looking for power and dominance who will take advantage of others. The entire student body needs to be trained to recognize and stop those people before something bad happens.
It's our civic duty and responsibility to foster a safe campus for everyone. Accepting this responsibility is the first step to righting the wrongs of our past. It's not only on us; it's on all of us to put an end to sexual assault.