Campus, News

Greek Life holds meetings on diversity, sexual assault prevention

Boston University InterFraternity Council Logo
Boston University’s InterFraternity Council and Panhellenic Council hosted meetings last weekend to discuss how to increase diversity and inclusion as well as prevent sexual assault within Greek Life at BU. ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Nick Kolev is the Campus News Editor at The Daily Free Press and a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Members of Boston University’s Greek Life held two meetings this past weekend to discuss diversity and inclusion, as well as sexual assault prevention within sororities and fraternities on campus.

The meetings were run by College of Communication junior Oliver Pour, member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and president of the Interfraternity Council at BU, as well as Victoria Bond, president of the Panhellenic Council and a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Many attendees of the diversity, equity and inclusion meeting acknowledged that BU’s sororities and fraternities have not escaped the stereotype of having predominantly straight, white, cisgender and high-income members.

They added there are many students who already have assumptions about sororities and fraternities on campus.

The meetings were held in discussion format, and attendees were encouraged to propose ideas for boosting diversity within the community and working against the stereotypes that play a role in promoting homogeneity.

Another student said they wanted a tangible focus on addressing the inaccessibility of Greek Life to give potential new members a fair chance during recruitment and create an open-minded space.

Another issue brought up by members at the meeting was the lack of representatives from fraternities on campus, despite efforts by Pour and Bond to ensure fraternity turnout.

One participant suggested a way to solve this problem would be to have members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee communicate with the under-participating fraternities.

In the sexual assault prevention meeting, participants discussed efforts to keep organizations accountable for accusations of sexual assault.

The discussion continued with proposals on how to engage chapters in discussions in other formats besides webinars, including potential internal chapter-hosted meetings.

Another suggestion raised by a participant was to have a designated chapter member at each mixer to help students should any incident occur.

Participants proposed ways to enforce attendance at future meetings without forcing survivors to attend and potentially be triggered by discussions. One proposal was to make it mandatory for 50 percent of the chapter to attend or to hold multiple meeting options.

Further discussion revolved around the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and the use of breakout rooms for more focused conversations.

Pour said he thought both discussions went well and many valuable contributions were made by participants.

“The goal is to get more people involved in the conversation and have them really feel comfortable speaking out,” Pour said. “We got a lot of quality comments, a lot of quality ideas.”

Victoria Bond is the vice chairman of The Daily Free Press board of directors. They were not involved in the editing of this article.

A previous version of this story included unverified quotations that did not meet The Daily Free Press’ editorial standards.


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