FratMANers and SISSTER team up for sexual assault awareness at SDSU


by Jacob Sisneros, Assistant News Editor

FratMANers has been around for six years at San Diego State and now welcomes SISSTER and a new faculty organizer to its effort to increase awareness about rape, rape culture and potential rape situations.

Sororities Invested in Survivor Support, Training, and Ending Rape culture (SISSTER) is in its first year of existence and new faculty organizer Samantha Greeney-Hamlin is in her first month in charge of both programs since taking over for Stephanie Waits.

“It worked out really well and allowed me to do what I wanted and do it with a program that I’m really enjoying and passionate about,” Greeney-Hamlin said.

Waits left SDSU for a job in pharmaceuticals, but still has a hands-on role with the program.

Fraternity Men Against Negative Environments and Rape Situations (FratMANers) has 20 active members and 27 trainees, and SISSTER currently has 10 active members with 15 trainees after being started this fall.

Greeney-Hamlin said her goal for the programs is to keep spreading the word about the programs and keep growing them.

Michael Kagan, vice president of risk management for the Interfraternity Council and active fratMANers member, made it a mission to have every new member of every fraternity at SDSU partake in a fratMANers presentation. He said 400 members partook, which is 99 percent of new members.

“Now my role is to make sure that continues this semester and every semester afterwards,” Kagan said.

Kagan said fratMANers recruits new members through tabling, at chapter meetings and through an online application which opens at the beginning of every semester on the fratMANers Facebook page.

“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a limit,” Kagan said. “If we get to 100 members that’s perfect and if we stay at the number of members we have now … then it’s looking very productive.”

FratMANers involves a three-unit discussion-based class which consists of reading assignments, journal entries and articles on national statistics related to rape or sexual assault on college campuses.

“Everyone in the class, by the end of it, has built a genuine, emotional reason for being there based on their own values or morals,” Kagan said. “I think that’s where the strength of the class comes in, is the fact that you’re not taught to believe a certain way, you’re taught to explore your own thoughts and beliefs about this issue.”

Kagan said fratMANers is a unique initiative because it addresses the link between fraternities and sexual assault head-on.

“Even in terms of our education we don’t shy away from any of (the stigma),” Kagan said. “All of the fratMANers presentations we give to greeks or non-greeks directly addresses the fact that the most prevalent statistics apply to us.”

SISSTER and fratMANers are in the process of planning the sexual violence awareness awards set to take place in April.

Kagan said the goal of the awards is to highlight the individuals and organizations who are excelling at promoting sexual assault education and prevention.