March unifies UNC campus against sexual assaults

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March unifies UNC campus against sexual assaults (Image 1)_28619

The campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill witness a sign of solidarity from all four major Greek councils as they marched together Thursday for the first time in school history against sexual assaults on campus.

Anthony Ferrara, a senior and a member of Sigma Phi said, “As a man, I believe all men have a role in this, and all people have a role in sexual assault awareness.”

Members of the Sigma Phi Fraternity along with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority made history Thursday on UNC’s campus to take a unified stand against sexual assault.

“As a member of a sorority I want to make sure my sisters at Kappa feel like they have a safe campus,” said sophomore Sonia Schrager. She is a a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

That’s why more than 200 students both within and outside the Greek community gathered on purpose at the Old Well, then marched a mile throughout the campus to symbolically say sexual assaults need to stop.

Fraternity brothers were candid and honest, when talking about the realities of sex assaults on Greek property.

Junior Sigma Phi member Michael Catalano said, “There’s a statistic that says a fraternity man is three times more likely to be a perpetrator of sexual assault than an individual that’s not within a fraternity.”

Some sorority members said the statistics surround campus sexual assaults are disturbing.

“One in five women are sexually assaulted during their college career and this is a very sad fact,” said Schrager.

Thursday’s march raised more than $1,000 for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

This event comes amidst fraternity scandals popping up around the country and there are even several fraternities at UNC are facing issues with sexual assault.

After the walk, participants were provided a BBQ dinner and split up into small group discussion where both Greek and non-Greek students spoke openly about ways to make the Tar Heel campus a safer place and stave off sexual assault on and around campus.

Peter Vogel, one of the trained small group facilitators, spoke about why this event was important to him.

“Fraternity men are three times more likely to commit sexual assault during their time on campus, and that number disgusts and embarrasses me,” Vogel said.

This is Vogel’s second year participating in Walk a Mile, and he said he will keep coming back.

“Walk a Mile is a wonderful event that brings together an interesting cross section of campus; the conversations that are had are truly valuable,” he said.

Last year, the event attracted only around 80 students.

However, more than 200 came to show their support this year.

Organizers said that the huge jump in numbers represents a campus ready to start seriously discussing these issues.

Students said this year they asked participants to tweet out pictures and quotes from the event with the hashtag #WalkAMileUNC.

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