Members of the 23 campus chapters of the Interfraternity Council have committed to mandatory training on sexual assault awareness and prevention.
The IFC is working through UNC’s One Act program with a goal of having each student go through four hours of training every two years. All fraternity pledges would receive training at the time they join, and by January 2016 every member would have been trained at least once.
One Act gives people the knowledge and skills to recognize signs of interpersonal violence and take preventive action. One Act is run through UNC Student Wellness.
Carolina currently is under three investigations by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the result of complaints brought by five women that assert that the University was not dealing adequately with sexual assault response. A task force has been at work on the campus for about a year reshaping every aspect of how the campus handles sexual violence complaints, from prevention through initial response, investigation and adjudication. The task force almost certainly will recommend some level of training for every person on the campus, and Chancellor Carol Folt could make it mandatory.
Kenan Lee Drum, a junior who is president of the IFC, said that as the “largest men’s organization on campus and in many respects the most visible, our goal is to set an example.”
Kelli Raker, sexual assault prevention coordinator in Student Wellness, said her office had partnered with the IFC to tailor One Act to the needs of Greeks, adding, for instance, a component on the consequences of high-risk drinking. Her office obtained a grant just for the partnership for a graduate student who could get the program off the ground.
Four fraternities already have been trained, with seven more planned for training this spring. She said that she has about 20 students who are qualified to lead training but that other agencies approved by the Office of Greek Life could be included because One Act may not be able to handle the more than 1,300 IFC members within the target period.
Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said that the ultimate goal is required training for all Greeks but that One Act is not staffed and funded to handle 56 organizations — the IFC fraternities plus the historically African-American Greek Alliance Council and the two Panhellenic groups representing sororities. Bachenheimer said members of the other groups are encouraged to get training on their own in the meantime.