Students across campus came together this week to support survivors of sexual violence with a Take Back the Night March. An important topic in the conversations addressed the sexual assault culture present in Greek Life.
Bradley is home to 18 fraternities and 12 sororities and approximately 30 percent of undergraduate students are involved in Greek Life.
Research published in 2022 states that men in fraternities are three times more likely to assault college women and that those in sororities are 74 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted which is why it’s crucial that these organizations always provide a safe and enjoyable environment for on-campus events.
It’s important to note that there are currently no Bradley sanctioned meetings geared towards educating Greek Life pledges and members about sexual assault and consent. There are classes and talks presented by Bradley HEAT (Help, Empower and Teach) regarding sex education for those living in residence halls, but these are not directly related to Greek Life.
It would be beneficial to the safety of all students if Bradley or the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council mandated all of their new members to attend a discussion regarding safety at parties, consent and awareness around sexual assault. This way, all members of fraternities and sororities can be knowledgeable about how to safely and respectfully navigate encounters at social events.
Additionally, the issue can also be addressed by advocating against groupthink in fraternities. Groupthink is a term that refers to the encouragement of conformity and a lack of individual responsibility in group settings, making it difficult for people to take accountability. Executive officers should always take the proper measures to ensure that members are abiding by guidelines and facing appropriate consequences for any wrongdoing.
The years that students spend in undergrad can, and should, be one of the best times of their lives. While involvement in Greek Life should consist of positive experiences, it’s important to acknowledge that sexual assault on college campuses is an ongoing issue that everyone needs to actively work to erase while also supporting survivors of sexual violence to make sure that their stories are heard.