Interactive discussion titled ‘Part of the Solution’ focuses on sexual assault prevention in Greek life

Part+of+the+Solution%E2%80%9D%2C+an+interactive+panel+about+sexual+assualt+prevention+was+hosted+on+April+4+in+the+Student+Government+Association+chambers.

Madison Carter

“Part of the Solution”, an interactive panel about sexual assualt prevention was hosted on April 4 in the Student Government Association chambers.

Madison Carter, News reporter

In recognition of sexual assault awareness month, “Part of the Solution”, an interactive panel about sexual assualt prevention, was hosted on April 4 in the Student Government Association chambers in DSU. 

The panel was centered around sexual assault prevention in relation to college men involved with Greek life at WKU. 

The panel was considered an interfraternity council meeting, but was open to all students, according to Andrew Rash, assistant director of Greek life. 

“This topic is one that is important to me as an administrator here at the university just to make sure everyone knows what the expectations are and are guided by the right understanding of what we expect for our students in terms of conduct as it relates to this topic,” Michael Crowe, director of student conduct, said in his introductory remarks. 

The panel included campus officials and student representatives to lead the conversation.  

“When it comes to this conversation, I feel like this type of environment is very important because this is where it starts,” Darren Griggs, student representative, said.

Rash opened the conversation up by asking the audience why they believe it is important to discuss sexual assault prevention. 

“I think it is very important because this is how it’s dealt with and how that situation is prevented,” Griggs said. “This conversation isn’t enough. Everybody needs to know that these are the situations that you may come across and this is how important consent is.”

Rash then asked the group how they would describe the current campus climate as it relates to sexual assault. 

“From an administrator’s perspective, I see that we’re at a point where students want change,” Crowe said. “They are ready to see a student shift in culture, and they are ready to see action by the administration. It shouldn’t take an assault on our campus for us to wake up and be ready to do something about this.”

Audience members asked the panel what they believe the Greek community can do to prevent sexual assault. 

In response to the question, Crowe said Greek life has to have members be committed to preventing sexual assault and shape its members to understand the expectations of Greek Life and the consequences when they are broken. 

“It needs to be ongoing,” Daniel Boamah, assistant professor in the department of social work, said. “You don’t need to see the numbers up again to do that. We need to set our eyes to look at the predators that are coming into these organizations to weed them out. We need to also speak to the cultural environment that enables these behaviors.”

Rash then asked the audience how to know if they have received consent.

Student Representative Benjamin Edwards emphasized to the group that every action taken in a sexual encounter requires permission and it is important that you dont pressure your partner. 

“We have to be intentional with our actions,” Edwards said. “It’s super important that we are clear with what our intentions are and if they say no, that’s okay.”

The panel presented a slide that listed the acronym “FRIES” as a way to approach consent.

Part of the Solution”, an interactive panel about sexual assualt prevention was hosted on April 4 in the Student Government Association chambers.

“Do not assume consent,” Boamah said. “If it is not given, then you do not have it.” 

Crowe discussed how Greek Life has a responsibility to be committed to sexual assault prevention and how they are responsible for the reputation that it earns.

“Know that we believe in you,” Crowe said. “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t. If you can do what we believe is possible, then we have created this culture shift.”

News Reporter Madison Carter can be reached at [email protected] topper.wku.edu.