Fraternities attend Title IX trainings as part of new IFC requirement

Media Credit: Skylar Epstein | Staff Photographer

IFC leaders said all fraternities met the 80 percent attendance requirement for the workshops.

The Interfraternity Council required members of fraternity chapters to attend sexual assault education workshops led by Students Against Sexual Assault earlier this month.

Eighty percent of the members of each fraternity were required to participate in at least one of two sexual assault education workshops, the IFC announced on Instagram earlier this month. IFC leaders said each fraternity chapter surpassed the 80 percent figure by April 12, the day of the second and final SASA workshop.

Data provided to The Hatchet listed seven fraternities as compliant with the 80 percent attendance quota. The IFC page on GW’s Student Life website lists nine fraternities as part of the IFC.

The seven compliant chapters included Phi Gamma Delta, which is not listed on the IFC’s page. The compliance data did not include information about the Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi fraternities, which are each listed on the IFC’s page as member chapters.

He said the IFC initially charged a $15 fine for each member who did not attend until that chapter reached 80 percent and later decided that all members of a chapter would have to redo training completely if the group did not meet the requirement.

“You know, at the end of the day, we don’t need money as IFC,” Tajanlangit said. “We want people to learn about the resources and how to act and how to make sure these people feel comfortable.”

Tajanlangit said the IFC meets with the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Panhellenic Council and the Panhellenic Association to discuss upcoming events and new ways to support their respective communities with Brian Joyce, GW’s director of fraternity and sorority life, every other week. He said discussions about the Panhellenic Association’s identical sexual assault training requirement for all sorority chapters spurred his decision to implement the new workshops for fraternities.

“They had a good turnout, and I heard they thought it was useful,” he said. “So I definitely wanted to implement it as well.”

Tajanlangit said he wants to repeat this new requirement every semester moving forward. He said he also wants to implement responsible drinking training workshops for chapters to attend next year.

Panhellenic Association President Lloyd Woods said she made the decision to include sexual assault awareness and prevention workshops for Panhel with Cat Desouza, Panhel’s vice president of internal development. She said they reached out to SASA for their education services.

“They were extremely accommodating and helpful, and we are so grateful for all of their hard work tailoring their trainings to meet the needs of the Panhellenic community at GW,” Woods said in an email. “We wanted to do what we could within our power as leaders in the Panhellenic Association at GW to help our members.”

Woods said Panhel also required at least 80 percent of each chapter to attend a SASA training. She said if a chapter did not meet the quota, they “addressed it on a case-by-case basis.”

Beta Theta Pi President MacAlister Steckler said all new chapter members in Beta must attend a Title IX training as part of the fraternity’s rush process. He said the chapter individually requires every member to attend additional Title IX and SASA training every semester.

Steckler said each SASA workshop is about an hour-and-a-half long and covers a range of topics like sexual harassment and bystander intervention. He said the trainings pose members with different questions, like what definitions of sexual assault they have been taught in the past.

“It’s also good because it’s coming from other GW students,” Steckler said. “I really liked how these SASA trainings just feel a lot more relatable because a lot of times the Title IX trainings are not as engaging as the SASA trainings. So I kind of appreciate that the IFC implemented SASA trainings for all fraternities.”

Delta Tau Delta President Jack Palaian said his chapter has also already implemented SASA training each semester, but he is glad IFC is requiring another.

“My chapter does it once a semester already,” Palaian said. “But to have another one is always good because sex and sexual assault on college campuses is something that’s kind of taboo to talk about, so the only way to get awareness out and spread knowledge is to talk about it.”

Palaian said his chapter’s members were given two weeks’ notice to attend one of two workshops, both of which are the same presentation. He said it is critical that members know how to approach unsafe situations and determine whether to intervene or extricate themselves from the environment.

“We’re working to help better Greek life at GW, and this is a part of our continual commitment to help maintain a safe space at GW as best we can,” Palaian said.

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