Letter to the Editor

By Tracy Marafiote, PhD Student,Communication


I was extremely happy that the press conference held by Utah Men Against Sexual Violence (UMASV) on Oct. 18 was so exceptionally well attended.

There were many, many University of Utah students representing diverse sexes, races/ethnicities, ages and departments.

There were representatives of athletic teams. There were university administrators, faculty and staff. There were respected community members and organizational representatives. There were important politicians. There were journalists from various local television news programs and a major newspaper.

There was, however, one disappointing and noticeable absence in this sizable turnout and show of support. In spite of requests from UMASV coordinators and the dean of Student Affairs, there was not one self-identified representative of U fraternities.

Why is this relevant? Because countless studies and research document the high incidences of sexual assault in fraternities (and other male dominated institutions) across the United States. UMASV will continue to create critical social change with or without greek support?but think how much stronger that change could be with a commitment from our fraternities.

I challenge the U fraternity brothers to distinguish themselves from this culture of violence and prove that they are confident enough to define themselves as masculine without having to include the denigration of women in that definition, and with the strength of character to work toward the treatment of women as equals.

Tracy Marafiote, PhD Student,Communication