Greetings, fraternity & sorority members:
The fraternity and sorority experience should be one filled with belonging and peer support of personal growth and development. The experience should provide safe opportunities to engage with others in our own chapters as well as those within our community and beyond.
Interpersonal violence prevention is a priority for the CSU fraternity and sorority community, and our belief that the experience should be free from interpersonal violence must be central to our efforts. As cases describing campus response to sexual assault by and within fraternities continue to emerge across the country, we are continually aware of our efforts to promote a safe and healthy fraternity/sorority experience, inclusive of thoughtfulness about the social environment created by our groups. The CSU fraternity and sorority community is not free from instances of interpersonal violence and many of your members, chapters, and councils have been actively working to support survivors and engage in critical discussion about how to prevent sexual violence.
As the semester draws nearer to its end, we wish to reiterate our expectation that prevention of interpersonal violence is a priority for each of the chapters and members in our fraternity and sorority community. This means critically thinking through prevention efforts all the time, and it means considering bystander intervention when its needed (recognizing that prevention efforts and bystander intervention and incident response are not the same thing). It means listening to and supporting survivors of interpersonal violence and holding our peers accountable for violating people and expectations.
We wish to provide some resources and information to support individual members, officers, and chapters as we continue our efforts to end sexual violence in our community and beyond.
First, CSU has many resources to support survivors of interpersonal violence and those that care for and love them. It is useful to review and be aware of these resources so you or those you support can be aware of and access them if they’re needed.
- The Women & Gender Advocacy Center website provides information about their confidential advocacy efforts. Learn more here: About Advocacy – WGAC (colostate.edu). After hours support can be accessed through the Victim Assistance Team, a 24-hour hotline, at 970-492-4242.
- The WGAC also has a specific resource for supporting survivors that can be viewed here: Supporting Survivors of Interpersonal Violence – WGAC (colostate.edu)
There are also several ways to report incidents of interpersonal violence:
- Students may report incidents of interpersonal violence at any time via the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity. The reporting form can be viewed here: Office of Title IX Reporting Form (maxient.com)
- Most faculty/staff members at CSU are considered “responsible employees,” meaning that any incidents of interpersonal violence shared with or reported to them will be reported to Title IX. This means that any students reporting interpersonal violence via the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life’s (OFSL) ‘Report a Violation’ tool will also be shared with Title IX. Sometimes you may not be sure which tool to use, so staff will work to get reports where they need to go.
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life is happy to engage with individuals and chapters regarding resources and processes as it is helpful (noting that OFSL staff are responsible employees and not a confidential reporting site). That means that if your chapter wishes to build a prevention education plan, think through member accountability, understand how to better support survivors or report behaviors, we are here for you. Contact the OFSL or your chapter’s liaison if you would like to talk with a staff member. The OFSL’s interpersonal violence prevention resources page provides general information that may be helpful to chapters and we look forward to adding to this page in the coming months to provide resources and referrals directly to students. Specifically, members of our community interested in exploring interpersonal violence in the fraternity/sorority context can register for our academic course co-taught by the Women and Gender Advocacy Center this spring (Fraternities and Sororities Against Sexual Assault (FSASA), WS495, 1 credit). If you are interested in this course, you can complete the FSASA interest form here.
We care deeply about CSU students, and our role to uniquely support and advise fraternity and sorority students means we are invested in your safety and wellbeing. Please share with us ideas, needs, and feedback as we continue examining how to provide resources aimed at preventing interpersonal violence.
-Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life