Speak Up Bucknell partners with Greek Life

Madeline Diamond, News Editor

The University has implemented the Fraternity and Sorority Allies program in partnership with Speak UP Bucknell this semester. This program provides training for members of the Greek community involving sexual violence.

Speak UP Bucknell is a peer education group that provides programs and presentations for students. The program is coordinated by the Women’s Resource Center and the Counseling and Student Development Center. Speak UP has worked with a variety of groups on campus, including first-year students, athletic teams, and now Greek Life.

The Fraternity and Sorority Allies program began with the Fraternity Ally Training in the spring of 2014, and the program is in full effect this semester. Sorority allies are currently being trained through a pilot program this semester.

“Personally, I learned a tremendous amount during the training I was a part of last spring.  The training is discussion-based, which allows for candid conversations about these issues and any questions and concerns that participants have,” Matt Lipper ’16, a fraternity ally, said.

Another fraternity ally, Will Evans ’15 commented on the aspects of ally training. “During the weekly sessions, we focus on how to work through the barriers to speaking up that many students may feel through both our skill building, and by creating a team atmosphere that allows the participants to lean on each other and bring experiences or questions back to the group,” he said.

According to the University website, Speak UP Bucknell’s curriculum involves information about sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Fraternity Ally Training specifically covers the topics of sexual violence protection, bystander intervention, rape culture, and working with survivors, specifically through the perspective of fraternity men. After the initial pilot program, nine University fraternity members had completed training to become allies, five of whom are current students.

“All of the training is facilitated by Speak UP peer educators who are members of the Greek community so the examples and situations presented are tailored to focus on the participants role’s as Greek members,” Lipper said.

Lipper noted that the training has impacted the way students interact in everyday conversations and other social situations, with the ultimate goal of influencing behaviors and language used within the Greek community.

The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) was most recently administered in spring 2011, and released information about sexual assault experienced by University students.

According to the NCHA on the University website, “sexual violence may occur at higher rates at Bucknell than at other private baccalaureate schools in the Northeast or nationally.”

Speak UP Bucknell and the specific Fraternity and Sorority Allies program seek to educate students about sexual assault and how to both prevent and manage it in the University community.

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