Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Survivor Advocacy through Greek Engagement seeks to empower survivors, eliminate sexual violence in Greek life

Photo courtesy of Rose Hunskor
Members of SAGE pose for a group photo at an April 11 meeting.

Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.

After attending an event Communication sophomore Rose Hunskor hosted about the intersection of Greek life and sexual violence, Medill sophomore Shravya Pant said she felt compelled to join the cause. The two sorority members joined forces, and Survivor Advocacy through Greek Engagement was born. 

“I had been motivated by things that I had seen and heard across our Greek life community,” Hunskor said. “I definitely thought that there needed to be a culture change to address what’s been the norm for a very long time as it relates to rape culture.”

SAGE is an organization that advocates against and provides resources to prevent sexual violence in Greek life. The club held its first meeting in Fall Quarter.

Hunskor, a member of Delta Gamma, and Pant, a member of Delta Delta Delta, spent last summer planning and discussing their new organization, as well as reaching out to representatives from Greek life chapters and organizations and the Center for Awareness, Response and Education.

“When we had our first meeting, it was so enlightening because we had a bunch of people across both fraternities and sororities come and share ideas or concerns that Rose and I hadn’t even considered before,” Pant said.

The mission of the group is to “empower survivors, foster allyship and a culture of consent and promote a violence-free Greek life experience for all.”

The organization works to promote discussions of sexual violence in Greek life and create discussion materials for Sorority and Fraternity executives to utilize during chapter meetings to broach topics of sexual assault.

“Having engaging conversations where people feel that they’re safe to say that they’re confused or they don’t understand or they don’t know what to do helps people to feel like they know more, and they can do something in a situation,” Hunskor said. “They have the proper tools and are empowered to support survivors and have survivor-centered conversations.”

Weinberg sophomore and Alpha Phi President Avery Franks is a SAGE member.

Franks said the main reason she joined is to be a part of conversations about sexual assault, listen to members’ experiences and learn how to create a safer community. 

“It’s really important for me that our members understand the risks associated with being a part of a Greek chapter and that whenever they’re socializing with other chapters that they know how to be safe … so that they know where to go to seek help,” Franks said. 

Some of the organization’s future goals include creating uniformity in the way that Greek organizations discuss sexual violence and increasing membership. 

Hunskor said the group hopes to specifically reach more male members of Greek life.

“A lot of the conversation does center around women,” Hunskor said. “Male engagement is something that we’ve definitely talked about and are working on. We do have members of fraternities who are a part of SAGE and they’re so awesome and contribute a lot.”

The founders said they aimed to cultivate a group that was low-commitment so members didn’t feel like they had to attend every single meeting. 

Pant said “there is much to be gained” in participating in Greek life that can be formative to the college experience, such as creating friendships and being in fun environments. 

“There are also inherent flaws in the system,” Pant said. “Making people more comfortable understanding how that relates to some of the incidents of violence that we see is something that I hope that can be a result of our discussions and work.”

Correction: A previous version of the article misattributed a statement about Survivor Advocacy through Greek Engagement’s outreach to fraternities. The Daily regrets the error.

Email: [email protected]

X: @lmschroeder_

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