Greek organizations at San Diego State University will suspend social events after some fraternity members allegedly acted in an “inappropriate and disrespectful manner” toward participants during a recent anti-sexual-assault march.
The move was announced Tuesday in a statement issued by leaders of the university’s fraternity and sorority system. The reported incident at the Take Back the Night march is still being investigated.
“We are committed to ending sexual violence,” read the statement, which was signed by the student body president and members of the Greek community. “We recognize that we must change attitudes and practices in our community to accomplish this goal.”
There have been seven sexual assaults on or near campus since the semester began, according to media reports.
All fraternity and sorority members will be required to undergo sexual violence training and will participate in events “that promote an end to sexual violence,” according to the statement.
There are 44 sororities and fraternities at the college.
School leaders praised the move.
“We are pleased to see the Greek community step forward and acknowledge they have an important role to play in this ongoing discussion and cultural change,” said Eric Rivera, the university’s vice president of student affairs.
San Diego State was one of four schools audited by the state earlier this year. The review found that, in general, resident advisors and athletic coaches often are not properly trained to respond to reports of sexual assaults and that none of the schools provides copies of its sexual harassment policies to employees at the start of the academic year.
Auditors also examined policies and practices at UC Berkeley, UCLA and Cal State Chico. They also surveyed more than 200 students about their experiences at those campuses between 2009 and March of this year.
In one instance, San Diego State employees did not report sexual harassment correctly, according to the report.
One San Diego State student told a lecturer that she had been harassed while participating in a school club. The lecturer referred the matter to the club’s faculty advisor, who met with the student but did not file a report.
A year later, the student was harassed by the same person again, the audit found.
Addressing sexual crimes on campuses has become a priority for the Obama administration. More than 50 colleges and universities nationwide, including USC and Occidental College, are under federal investigation for their handling of sexual assaults.
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