Greek community combats sexual assault with new campaign


The Greek Life Against Sexual Assault campaign aims to encourage discussion of the issue of sexual violence within the Greek community and on Tulane’s campus. 

Armando Marin, Online News Editor

Students have mobilized to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault through Tulane’s Greek community. The Greek Life Against Sexual Assault campaign aims to advocate for the elimination of sexual assault on campus by encouraging conversation within fraternities and sororities. 

GLASA is a joint effort between many organizations on campus, including the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Feminist Alliance of Students at Tulane, Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education, TheWELL, Tulane University Police Department, Undergraduate Student Government and the Associated Student Body. It is also being held in conjunction with the promotion of the national “It’s on Us” campaign and Tulane’s One Wave program.

ASB President Chris Halbohn, a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, said the campaign hopes to show that Greek members care about the issue of sexual violence.

“We wanted to take a stand against [sexual violence] on Tulane’s campus,” Halbohn said. “We’re hoping to spread the issue nationally, especially through the South, because fraternity and sorority life is a very large part of Southern college culture.”

The first stage of the rollout of GLASA includes a series of events aimed to facilitate awareness of the issue. GLASA began tabling Wednesday and will continue to do so throughout the week to promote the new website dedicated to Tulane’s “It’s on Us” initiative. Members will also encourage people to attend bystander trainings and sign the campaign’s pledge to eliminate sexual assault on college campuses.

The events planned include a screening of the HBO documentary about dating violence “Private Violence” followed by a discussion Monday and a spoken word reading Tuesday. GLASA is also promoting Take Back the Night, an event aimed to take a stand against sexual assault by empowering women, by encouraging both Greek and non-Greek members to attend.

After these events, members of the GLASA campaign plan to review the impact of these events and then decide on the next course of action. USG Vice President for Student Life Fernando Ramos, a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, said GLASA wants to integrate the campaign into Greek structures.  

“We are calling upon the different [Greek] chapters at Tulane to think of different things they can do within their chapters to promote the discussion; to be better bystanders; and to promote One Wave, the “It’s on Us” campaign and campus resources,” Ramos said. “We’ve been having a lot of discussions with IFC and [Panhellenic Council] to see how we can further develop ideas into structures that can be promoted by leaders within the Greek community.”

USG has been a prominent supporter of the GLASA campaign. In the USG meeting Tuesday, members passed legislation which officially endorses Take Back the Night and requires members to attend unless they provide a valid excuse to the secretary. Senator Charisse Poston, who has served as a non-Greek voice for GLASA and wrote the USG legislation, said she is happy to see USG embracing Take Back the Night and the issue of sexual violence.

“I think it’s exciting to see a lot of support for this legislation,” Poston said. “There has historically been a lack of Tulane presence at Take Back the Night. It’s great that we passed this legislation to have this important body of students be there.”

Halbohn said the issue is not something that can be changed overnight, but something that requires constant attention and vigilance.

“We’re trying to change the mentality and culture on campus,” Halbohn said. “We realize it’s not anything easy or quick to do, but we definitely want to get our foot in the door in making these changes.”

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