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Fraternities and sororities team up to combat sexual assault at UNC

“We are going in with the mindset that, as Greeks, it’s on us to prevent sexual assault within the Greek community,” said Andrew Clark, a sophomore physics major and member of Sigma Phi Fraternity.

Sigma Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, Chi Psi Fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega Sorority are sponsoring the event, which will take place at 5 p.m. today at the Old Well.

The event will open with a range of speakers, including Christi Hurt, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, and Hathaway Pendergrass, president of the board of directors of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. The event will also include a one-mile walk in the quad and small groups to foster discussion about sexual assault prevention.

“It’s been really great to put our ideas together with organizations that care so much about our community and support such an important cause,” said Kappa Kappa Gamma President Sonia Schrager, a junior business administration and media and journalism major.

“It’s important to me personally, because as a president of an organization of 180 women here at UNC, sexual assault is an issue all of us face,” she said.

Schrager said while sexual assault mostly affects women, it is important to recognize the importance of involving men in the discussion.

Clark said, “Fraternities are the most likely perpetrators of sexual assault. It is on me as a fraternity male to do as much as I can to prevent it.

“First you have to recognize that there is a problem. And then it’s on both men and women to do anything in their power to stop it.”

Sami Lachgar, sophomore business major and member of Sigma Phi, said men should invest in the cause.

“There’s a direct correlation between being a member of a certain fraternity and being a member of sexual assault. That’s absolutely unacceptable,” Lachgar said.

Lachgar said in years past, fraternities have put on a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, in which people walk a mile in high heels to raise sexual assault awareness. He said this year they are trying to step back from that event because of what it might imply.

“There is something generally wrong with having frat guys wear high heels and assume they can step into the shoes of sexual assault survivors,” he said.

The event costs $5, which includes dinner. T-shirts cost an additional $15. Money raised will go to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, which attempts to stop sexual violence and its impact through support, education and advocacy.

Schrager said, “If I can spare two hours to go to this event and support survivors of sexual assault, that’s a wonderful use of my time.”

university@dailytarheel.com

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