Greek Week: Points Over Awareness

Sexual Assault Awareness Week deserves its own week where we fully grasp the gravity of the information being given to us, without our thoughts being clouded with winning a competition.

Being a part of Greek Life means that at the end of the year we have Greek Week, and I'm not gonna lie, it’s probably some of the best times I have with my sorority sisters. We have a blast watching talent shows, competing in trivia games, making connections with our teammates, spending time with each other during Relay for Life, and honestly just enjoying being a part of Greek Life. And really I couldn’t ask for a better time with more amazing people, because even though Greek Week is a competition it’s the one of the few times I actually feel like I’m part of a Greek Community and not just in a sorority. The only problem is… Greek Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Week should not happen at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think we should have Greek Week, and of course I want and understand the importance of Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Sexual Assault is Gender Biased and has more meaning to women on campus than the males, not to say men are not sensitive to the issue. With the #MeToo Movement it has become imperative that Sexual Assult Awareness needs to be at the forefront of college life. We can’t afford for a generation of individuals to not be intune with what is acceptable behavior. 

Most people in Greek Life only show up to the Sexual Assault Awareness Week events because they get points for Greek Week. Some don’t even really know or care about the statistics Know More is trying to raise awareness about. 

When someone says, “There’s a Know More ‘1 in 5 event’ for whatever the statistic is about…” then we should know that this isn’t an effective way to raise awareness. When we spend 5 - 10 minutes walking around The Green with frat boys in high heels and sorority girls making fun of them, we’re not really grasping the significance of Walking A Mile in HER Shoes. Instead, we think of everything as a joke, and only care about the 3 points we get for each boy that dares to wear heels. We get upset that we can’t earn a second point for painting a finger on our second hand, because 2 out of 10 boils down to 1 in 5 college women are victims of sexual violence each year.

By making these events a part of Greek Week, we desensitize ourselves from the incredibly important messages and statistics they are trying to make us aware of. Instead it becomes a competition of who can show up to the most events and not about how prevalent sexual assault awareness is especially on a college campus.

I had the privilege of sitting down with someone who is both a part of Greek Life and has been sexually assaulted before. She wanted to stay anonymous but here is a statement she wanted to contribute:

“This is my third year watching these events, and every year it upsets me more. As a woman who has experienced being sexually assaulted, the idea of Greek Life earning points for sexual assault themed events makes me anxious. No one walking around the circle in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is doing so to raise awareness for sexual assault. It’s not to support those who have been assaulted. It’s to win the week for their teams. No one is painting their nails for the statistic to help raise awareness for how many women in college are sexually assaulted. This includes the girl down the hall, your roommate, your RA or PA, and your best friend. If we take the number of students enrolled at our campus, 6,100 undergrad students and 55% are women, and apply the statistic to this number, that’s about 671 students on our campus that will potentially be assaulted. Over 10% of our campus is expected to be assaulted, but everything we do to raise awareness is overshadowed by the idea of Greek Unity. I support Greek Week, but not when it overshadows everything I stand for.”

This isn’t okay. In fact it’s so far from okay. We need to separate the two.