Fraternity vows to combat sexual assault in YouTube video

Fraternity vows to combat sexual assault in YouTube video

by Colleen Larson, Staff Writer

On the heels of a San Diego State fraternity council suspension on social activities to educate members about sexual assault, SDSU’s Phi Kappa Theta chapter released a YouTube video on Dec. 4 advocating for sexual assault awareness.

The video, titled “It’s On Us,” received more than 2,000 views in two days. Viewers are encouraged to take the “It’s On Us” pledge along with the fraternity.

“Take a pledge and take a stand with us to keep both men and women safe from sexual assault,” a member says in the video.

Phi Kappa Theta President Ahmad Sanatyar said raising awareness for the issue has become a personal mission for the men of the chapter and that the video and social media campaign are just the start. Sanatyar said that the chapter has other related projects in development.

SDSU Greek community members have used the hashtag #ItsOnUs on various social media sites.

SDSU’s InterFraternity Council suspended social activities on Nov. 25 in light of sexual assault rally allegations. Participants in the Take Back The Night march that happened on Nov. 21 alleged that members of Sigma Phi Epsilon yelled obscenities at the demonstrators and members of Delta Sigma Phi waved dildos from their balcony.

Following the allegations, Associated Students President and Sigma Phi Epsilon member Jonathon Cole sent out a campus-wide email confirming the InterFraternity Council’s decision to suspend all fraternities’  social activities for fraternities on campus.

“To the extent such allegations are true, this conduct is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the Greek system at SDSU,” Cole said in his email.

Members will be required to undergo sexual assault and bystander training, according to the email.

Following the Take Back the Night allegations, SDSU has drawn national attention, including coverage from Greek organizations. Total Frat Move, a website with more than 966,000 followers on Twitter, published an article that describes the allegations as an “embarrassing display of stupidity.”

“While you may not have any connection to the campus’ sexual assault issue, making yourself look like an a– during a rally to end a horrible problem is the antithesis of everything you’ve ever been taught about public relations,” senior freelance writer Move Bogey Wells wrote.

The university is conducting an investigation into the allegations. Director of Student Life and Leadership Randy Timm said he is speaking with members of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, as well as the demonstrators.

Concerned Students of SDSU, a group that co-organized the Take Back the Night rally, released a letter on Nov. 24, describing the allegations. The letter repeats the phrase ‘This is rape culture’ three times and demands bold action from the university to combat rape culture.

President Hirshman also commented on the matter in an email following the allegations.

“I commend the leaders of the Greek community for recognizing our shared responsibility to end sexual violence and taking these proactive steps to address this critical issue,” Hirshman said in an email.

Watch the video below: