Media often stereotypically portrays fraternities as being instigators of sexual violence. Members of the Theta Psi chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity recently released a video speaking out against sexual assault to end the stigma and encourage their male peers to speak out as well.
Previous president of Sigma Chi, Ian Pinnell was the inspiration for this project. He was doing research on human trafficking in one of his courses and was inspired by a fellow classmate to take action on the topic of rape culture and sexual assault.
From there Sigma Chi decided to start the conversation and the video was born.
It’s a difficult conversation to have, but we’re trying to learn what behaviours we have that might make people feel uncomfortable and try to eliminate them. We are well respected in both the campus and Greek community (fraternities and sororities), but we understand that we’re not perfect and there’s always room to improve. We want to ensure that anyone who enters our space feels safe and welcome. – Sigma Chi, in an email communication
Along with starting the conversation, the other major aspect of this initiative is education. Though Sigma Chi does not claim to be an expert on this topic, the fraternity is striving to learn and better understand rape culture and sexual violence. By asking experts to present to Sigma Chi every term, the fraternity hopes to become better educated. The fraternity has welcomed facilitators to speak about the idea of rape culture, including Male Allies Against Sexual Violence, who delivered a presentation about the role of males in the fight against sexual violence.
Our chapter changes from term to term as people graduate and get initiated, but this allows for diversity in terms of programs, race, and religion. This diversity allows each brother to bring a unique perspective to the table for whatever issues we discuss, and healthy debate is encouraged. We all owe it to ourselves and to society to become educated about this sensitive topic and work to improve our behaviours. –Sigma Chi, in an email communication