I put a lot of research into this short article for you, my dear frat boy.
I’ve stolen many hours away from my family, business ventures, alumni boards, and personal improvement blocks to dive deep into what goes on inside your house, bro.
I’ve spent precious time reading, interviewing, and chatting with professionals in higher education about an issue that is very real on college campuses: sexual assault. Believe it or not, bruh, there’s a solid probability that a fraternity brother—that’s right, someone wearing your letters—will sexually assault someone while in school.
Three times more probable than a non-fraternity member, to be precise.
Do you feel like I’m picking on you, brotha? Good, because I am. Because you’re my brother.
I was selected to be my chapter’s president two terms in a row. Before those two terms, I was the recruitment coordinator. Those roles gave me keen insight into the push that our fraternities are making to educate us on prevention of sexual assault.
Our national fraternities are providing everything that undergraduate members need to prevent us from raping people. I know that my fraternity requires every chapter to undergo a couple different types of training on overall conduct and sexual behavior. Your great fraternity probably carries the same requirements.
The cold truth is that our national fraternities would still be giving us everything we needed even if they gave us no education at all. You should simply know what is wrong.
There are valid arguments on both sides. There are also many invalid, ignorant arguments on both sides. Statement after statement, statistic after statistic, each contradicting the other. As I drowned myself in this topic, something odd began to happen.
The statistics meant less and less to me. This is what I realized.
No statistic can justify one single rape. No study can take away the fact that sexual assault happens on campus. No article, news report, or radio pundit propagating “fraternity rape culture,” whether true or not for your chapter, excuses a rape.
Without further ado, brother, here are six simple ways to not rape someone this year:
- Has your partner been drinking? Hold off.
- Have you been drinking? Don’t blame it on the alcohol.
- Don’t know your partner? Take that night off.
- Do you know your partner too well? A committed relationship doesn’t permit and isn’t immune to rape.
- Do you have consent? Ask, ask, then ask again. It won’t ruin the mood, and it could save a lot of heartache.
- Are there any sexual acts at all in your pledge process? Don’t participate, and take action. Change your chapter’s culture before someone shuts your house down.
Admittedly, there are points I’ve overlooked and stories I haven’t heard. I can’t claim to have reached the bottom of this. Purposefully, I’ve over-simplified this complex issue.
I’ve noticed that complexity gives people something to hide behind. I’m holding you accountable, brother, because complexity is no excuse for ignorance.
And ignorance is not an excuse for rape.
Photo: Flickr/ PilotGirl