STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
When juniors Claire Van Treeck and Xavier Quinn became Executive Vice Presidents of Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council respectively last semester, they decided to make sexual assault prevention a part of their role.
“We work every semester to educate new members and current members on scholarship, alcohol awareness and hazing prevention. Sexual assault is what we decided to focus on this year,” Van Treeck said.
The councils found this focus imperative to the Greek community.
“(Sexual assault programming) is something we thought was really important, as almost 35 percent of the student body is Greek,” Van Treeck said. “We thought that with such a large population we should really try and lead the conversation on campus regarding sexual assault. We were looking for way to have this conversation.”
Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council decided to lead this conversation by bringing Mike Domitrz to campus to present his program, titled “Can I Kiss You?”
The program is aimed to inform college campuses about consent, bystander intervention, and how to help sexual assault survivors.
Domitrz’s interactive program opened with a scenario of people at a party. He continued the rest of the program by walking through different scenarios that people may encounter.
One of the points Domitrz z brought up was the excuses people use as bystanders. One was that is none of students’ businesses and the other was that students do not want to block their friends. For Domitrz, these aren’t excuses.
“It is in your DNA to naturally care about other human beings,” Domitrz said. “Human beings do not fear confrontation if they believe it is worth it. Each person is worth protecting.”
Domitrz also encouraged students to call these “hookups” sexual assault instead.
“Call it what it is and people are going to change,” Domitrz said. “When you call it what it is no one ever denies they are not responsible.”
The responsibility that Domitrz stressed was one of the reason that Panhellenic council not only wanted to focus on sexual assault, but brought in Domitrz.
“Our mission exists until there are no more sexual assaults on campuses,” Van Treeck said. “We should be the ones to stand up and make the change.”