Advocates, more sex assault prevention training slated for UMN Greek members

The new measures will be rolled out next fall.

A large group walks past fraternities on Fraternity Row on March 10, 2017.

Maddy Fox

A large group walks past fraternities on Fraternity Row on March 10, 2017.

by Natalie Rademacher

Trained sexual assault advocates and additional training could be next steps in University of Minnesota Greek life sexual assault prevention efforts.

The Interfraternity Council is working with The Aurora Center and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action to provide Greek members with information on how to address accused perpetrators and victims in their community and will train some members to respond when a sexual assault occurs.

The new prevention measures will start in the fall.

“We will be giving them the resources to provide people within the Greek community with additional knowledge, skills and a sense of community surrounding sexual assault prevention,” said Aurora Center Director Katie Eichele.

EOAA added resources for the community after Greek members asked the office how it responds to sexual misconduct cases, said EOAA Director and Title IX Coordinator Tina Marisam.

“The idea we had was to talk to the Greek organizations about how to respond to sexual assault. Both how the University responds, how [EOAA] handles it, when we investigate and how we investigate,” Marisam said.

The office will also provide resources for the community on how to confront members accused of sexual assault and what to do after having those conversations, she said.

At the Aurora Center, Eichele said she is working with IFC to train one member in each chapter as an advocate.

Unlike Aurora Center advocates, trained Greek life members will not be mandatory reporters, Eichele said.

Advocates will be taught how to respond when sexual violence occurs and which resources to provide victims.

“We are ecstatic to work with The Aurora Center to combat incidents of sexual violence in our community and on the greater campus,” said IFC President Simon Beck.

In addition to advocate training, the center will expand its bystander intervention training for Greek life to include sexual assault prevention and response.

“The Aurora Center has done a great job…with the prevention aspect and also some response,” Marisam said. “With this training [EOAA] is more response … in terms of how the University responds and how Greek organizations can respond.”