Throughout the next two semesters, leaders of Greek life at UW-Madison will work alongside campus offices in an attempt to reduce sexual violence on campus.
The task force was created largely in response to a survey by the Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, which found that a disproportionate amount of sexual violence occurred in buildings associated with Greek life, often off-campus housing, according to a university release.
To curb the rate of sexual violence in Greek life, the task force, assembled by leaders of four Greek governing Executive Boards, will focus on improving six key areas: bystander intervention training, support members, recruitment, accountability, chapter involvement and peer-to-peer discussion, according to the release.
The Greek life task force will work closely with University Health Service specialists to help coordinate training sessions, along with other campus offices.
“We were able to pair the expertise they had about Greek community and Greek Life—what works for them—and our knowledge of prevention practices and programming,” said Sam Johnson, a violence prevention specialist at UHS, in the release.
UHS is expected to reveal its findings and its bystander intervention curriculum for Greek life participants during the 2016 Fall Semester. The curriculum will include information on where to report crimes and how to locate confidential support groups for victims.
According to the release, Sarah Laudon, a UW-Madison senior in Pi Beta Phi, said that by implementing these practices, she hopes that long-term changes will occur in UW-Madison’s Greek life.
“The reduction in numbers [of incidents] is important but it’s important to change the culture, seeing things change over time.”