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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Frats take a pledge

Sexual assault is a serious problem for college campuses across the country, and IU is no exception.

Twenty-one Indiana fraternities have taken a stand and made pledges to stop sexual assault in their houses. Hopefully this will lead to a decrease in assault.

There were 22 sexual assaults reported on campus in 2013, according to the 2014 Annual Security report released by the University.

This is less than the statistic for 2012, in which 33 sexual assaults were reported, but still too high for comfort. In 2013, collegestats.org listed IU as one of the 12 most dangerous schools for women.

Following the disappearance of Lauren Spierer, eyes have been looking at IU to be aware of the dangers to students on campus, but we have seen very little changes for the University.

That is one reason this vow by IU fraternities is so welcome.

They represent a large social aspect of this University, and with this public vow they are setting a good example and a new standard of expectation from students.

Out of 36 fraternities on campus, 21 have pledged to hold themselves and fellow fraternity brothers accountable in order to prevent sexual assault.

Most promise expulsion from the fraternity if sexual crimes are committed.

Many people believe fraternities are a hotbed for sexual assault. Every freshman girl is warned about which frats have certain reputations, and all party-goers realize a certain risk when attending any large social event where there will be alcohol.

A 2007 study found that fraternity men were three times more likely to commit rape, according to CNN.

By holding the greek community accountable for itself, it can, in the words of Delta Upsilon’s pledge, “destroy this problem from the root.”

This focus on fraternity responsibility is also a nice change from the victim-blaming that is usually present in discussions about rape prevention.

Whether or not there is a person willing to commit rape present is the determining factor of a sexual assault, not whether or not a girl is wearing a short skirt.

By demanding accountability from their fellow fraternity members, these fraternities would lower the number of people willing to commit sexual assault, which would then lower the number of assaults happening on campus.

Despite the positive change these pledges represent, we cannot pretend 21 statements will change the sexual assault pattern on this campus, if that is all they are.

Not until these pledges are visibly upheld can we as a community feel comfortable about what is being done to end sexual assault. It is easy to pledge something. It is harder to condemn a friend.

Hopefully these vows are taken seriously and will yield positive results.

Hopefully they will inspire the remaining 15 fraternities to do the same.

At the very least, it is a step in the right direction and 21 steps closer to taking our campus off the “dangerous” list.

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