Alpha Sigma Phi chapters take action against sexual assault

A group of college students poses on a soccer field on campus All across the country, chapters of the national fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi are taking action this April to support sexual assault survivors and raise awareness about prevention. Over half of the fraternity’s 120 chapters have been raising funds and talking to their fellow students about RAINN this spring, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (#SAAPM).

The fraternity’s chapters have organized a range of engaging events on-campus. from concerts and marathon “couch-sits” in the quad, to selling RAINN and Alpha Sigma Phi wristbands, to inviting survivors of sexual assault to speak on their campus, via the RAINN Speakers Bureau. Lauren Debski, a survivor and Speakers Bureau member, spoke to an auditorium full of 300 Greek life-affiliated students in Virginia at Radford University in March.

“Speaking out at Alpha Sigma Phi’s Radford event was not only very beneficial for my growth and development as a survivor, but also for the students who attended and listened,” said Debski. “After my presentation, I had some students come and speak with me about their own situation, or their friend's situation, which shows that the students care and are trying to improve this on their campus.” She also thinks it’s important for fraternities to host these kinds of events, so that “hopefully reminds them that they need to watch their own behaviors, as well as watch out for their friends.”

RAINN has collaborated with Alpha Sigma Phi since 2013. “These men are incredibly committed to making a difference, ending sexual assault and aiding survivors,” said Chelsea Bowers, RAINN’s Development Director, who helped to establish the partnership.

The Alpha Sigma Phi chapter at the University of South Florida (USF) raised more than $5,000 for RAINN by organizing an on-campus soccer tournament. Their event, which attracted over 350 people, allowed other fraternities, sororities and clubs to compete against each other and have fun, all while raising money for RAINN and awareness of sexual assault prevention. The chapter gathered donations not only through tournament participation, but also by selling T-shirts and partnering with an on-campus eatery that donated 15% of one evening’s profits to the cause.

Joshua Smith, vice president of the Zeta Omicron chapter at USF, said, “What I enjoyed most about hosting this event was seeing so many people come out, not only to support our cause, but also to support their own student groups. It was beautiful to see so many individuals have such a passion for raising awareness to end sexual abuse. The support seen from the efforts of our brothers and from those who donated shows that we are aware of this issue and want to make an impact in fighting to end sexual violence.”

Photo credit: Joshua Smith. Members of USF’s Alpha Sigma Phi held a campus-wide soccer tournament to raise money and awareness for RAINN.

If you are an Alpha Sigma Phi alum, you can support the current brothers’ efforts by visiting https://rainn.org/AlphaSigAlumni and pledging to match the national fundraising efforts, or you can give to a specific chapter.

Take action to reduce sexual assault on campus with the "It's On Us" campaign, or find out 7 things you can do this April to make an impact.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org.

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