Phi Gamma Tropicana
Men can stop rape. In recent years, the issue of sexual assault has been brought to further fruition under the shadow of complacency and inadequate preventative response. For the students of the University of Oregon, sexual assault plagues the thoughts of many… especially women. The dichotomy of men being aggressors and women being victims is unfortunate, but statistically true. FIJI believes, however, that men can stop rape.
The University of Oregon has infrastructure in place to teach self-defense, to educate students about consent and its relation to alcohol, and to provide support to victims of sexual assault. The programs in place aim to prevent sexual assault on campus, but it definitely has room for improvement. In a chapter-wide discussion last spring, FIJI at the University of Oregon mandated that our philanthropic cause go towards a non-profit organization whose aims were to prevent sexual assault. Over the proceeding months, we debated the current infrastructure and where we could make the largest impact towards preventing sexual assault. We reached out to Abigail Leeder, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Director of the University of Oregon, and talked about the sexual assault prevention programs in place on and around campus, including the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team, a group that is currently recruiting members (especially males). Abigail pointed us in the direction of a D.C.-based, non-profit organization called “Men Can Stop Rape”.
Men Can Stop Rape caught FIJI’s attention immediately. We whole-heartedly identified with their sentiments and values. They believe that society places too much blame and burden on women to prevent rape, and it’s time to man-up by working collectively towards ending sexual assault. The unique aspect of this organization that caught our undivided attention is the fact that their main approach is to redefine the concept of masculinity to include active bystander prevention, the dismissal of putting the blame on the victim, and to eliminate the thought that being aggressive is being manly. Men Can Stop Rape has a college campus presence through the establishment of “Men of Strength Club” (MOST). MOST recruits college men who are passionate about ending sexual assault; they train them on how to properly steer males away from aggressive tendencies that often lead to sexual assault and on how to be an effective preventative bystander in situations that could escalate. FIJI shares the mindset and the values of Men Can Stop Rape and wishes to share them with the University by establishing a MOST Club on campus by the end of the fall in 2015.
It is with great pleasure and excitement that the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta announces its partnership with Men Can Stop Rape. We would also like to take this moment to announce that our chapter’s first philanthropic event, the Phi Gamma Tropicana will take place on the Gerlinger Lawn on May 10th. The Phi Gamma Tropicana will consist of a music festival, tropical game tournaments, and interactive attractions related to redefining masculinity. All proceeds will be donated towards Men Can Stop Rape and the associated fees with starting a MOST Club at the University of Oregon. In the coming weeks we will be introducing sponsors, products, and more information related to the Phi Gamma Tropicana, so please pay close attention to our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. If you wish to donate to our cause immediately, please head to crowdrise.com/phigammatropicana
FIJI is very excited to participate in Greek Week and in many of the programs offered by the Division of Student Life as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. You can help raise awareness by utilizing social media with the hashtags #saam and #phigammatropicana. Please look forward to May 10th and the week leading up to that Sunday, and remember: Men Can Stop Rape.