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Can Breaking Greek Life Rituals End Sexual Assaults on College Campuses?

todayMarch 24, 2015 28

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By Trevor Frank
KTSW News

Greek letters. Photo from www.theprospect.net
Photo from http://www.theprospect.net

The long standing issue of college sexual assaults has recently made headlines and brought awareness to students and college campuses across the country, which is causing some students to question certain traditions within their own school. Some female students are wondering if breaking the ritual of fraternity hosted parties could serve as a form of sexual assault prevention.

Recently, the New York Times ran an article about how women at Washington University are starting to question a long tradition of dry sorority houses. For decades the National Panhellenic Conference has forbidden sorority chapter houses from allowing alcohol, but as colleges across the country are forced to confront their own preventative measures and policies regarding sexual assaults many women are looking to this rule.

Texas Sate’s Lambda Psi Delta president Lauren Masters says she doesn’t necessarily think removing the ban on alcohol would prevent sexual assaults but that it really just depends how responsible you are with your alcohol. “It really just depends on the type of organization and the type of people that you’re around,” said Masters. “I don’t think the ban is really going to stop that in any way.”

Allowing sororities to have alcohol would by no means eliminate these types of sexual assaults, but according to the Times it would allow the women to be in control of the drinks and give them the ability to set “off limit” areas in their quarters.

Though it seems this issue of college sexual assaults is not going away anytime soon  there is no question that being educated and aware are the ultimate preventative measure for sexual assault.

Head of Greek affairs, Robert Dudolski, says all Texas State  students should be aware of their surrounding and to not take open drinks from someone you do not trust.

“They need to be aware of their surroundings they need to know who it is they are associating themselves with,” said Dudolski. “I would really not advise any male, or female student just to openly accept and open container of alcohol from anybody that, number one, they don’t trust let alone that they don’t open themselves.”

It is unknown how many sexual assaults occur at frat parties but a 2007 study done by the Department of Justice found that girls who frequently attended fraternity parties were much more likely to be assaulted than girl who did not attend these parties regularly.

Change is not going to happen overnight, but it is clear women across the country are taking this very serious and thinking outside the box when it comes to preventing sexual assaults on and off campus.

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