IFC’s response to SURGE article
Statement from the Interfraternity Council at Gettysburg College
Two weeks ago, an article was written and published through SURGE, an online campus publication. The anonymously written article was a response to the event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, sponsored by Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Delta Gamma.
The event, which included educational components contributed by Green Dot and Survivors, Inc. (the local non-profit that works to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking), was held to raise awareness and to continue the much needed dialogue around sexual assault prevention.
Additionally, all proceeds from the event went to support the work Survivors, Inc. does in Adams County.
While our community applauded the work done by SAE and Delta Gamma, the article leveled many allegations against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and their annual event.
We, the Interfraternity Council, feel that certain criticisms aimed at the event itself were both unwarranted and counterproductive. The event has a national backing and has been dedicated to preventing sexual assault as well as raising awareness. Rather than continue this important dialogue, this article has shifted the conversation from “What can we do as a community to end sexual assault?” to one that discredits a specific fraternity and its efforts to make campus a safer place for everyone.
This year, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was more successful than it has ever been in the past. It was hosted in partnership with Green Dot and Survivors. Inc., with men from multiple fraternities and non-Greeks all walking to raise awareness.
The Interfraternity Council will continue to support Sigma Alpha Epsilon and its hosting of this event for many years to come, and we hope to continue to bring about an increased awareness to this nationwide issue.
Moving forward, if there are concerns about events such as this, we do encourage individuals to approach the Interfraternity Council or individual chapters in a solution oriented forum.
While we, the Interfraternity Council, cannot comment on specific allegations made in the article, we do acknowledge that sexual assault is an issue within Greek Life, our campus, and colleges across the nation that persists in spite of efforts made by both students and the College administration. We, as a campus, and as a Greek Life system, have a long way to go to end sexual assault.
This is why IFC, has taken a number of steps to achieve that end. Several weeks before the article was published, the IFC met and agreed to implement these action steps before the end of the calendar year:
● Work with the Panhellenic Council to incorporate sorority sober monitors into event management during co-sponsored social events.
● Evaluate current risk management practices and implement best practices to create a safer social environment.
● Increase transparency and collaboration with the Department of Public Safety and G-Force.
● Increase education among members on the impact of sexual assault and the policies, procedures, and resources related to it at Gettysburg College.
● Mandate that every chapter have a liaison to Students Against Sexual Assault by April 1.
The fight against sexual assault will not be won overnight nor will it be easy. It will take great efforts by not only Greek Life, but the campus community as a whole. This is why we will continue to stand behind Sigma Alpha Epsilon and any other organization that works towards ending sexual assault.