Disaffiliated fraternities and sororities, as well as the all-male selective living group Wayne Manor, will now require all potential new members to undergo mandatory pre-rush training from student-led groups Duke Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education (SHAPE) and Duke Sexual Assault Prevention Team (SAPT).
The nine fraternities that are part of the Durham Interfraternity Council and eight sororities that are part of Durham Panhellenic Council all formally disaffiliated from the University last year. Mary Pat McMahon, vice president and vice provost for student affairs, told The Chronicle last year that disaffiliated groups will not have access to Duke’s “trainings and group accountability structures.” They also do not have access to University funding, facilities, communications, housing and direct advertisement. Students in the groups are still accountable for off-campus actions.
SAPT, a group of members of Durham IFC and Panhel organizations that work to “prevent sexual assault in Greek life and across campus,” and SHAPE are both student-led initiatives. SHAPE initiated the conversation with SAPT this fall about holding joint trainings, and coordinated with SHAPE representatives from Greek life groups and Wayne Manor, according to senior Amelia D’Agaro, SHAPE’s Greek life and SLG director.
Durham IFC, Durham Panhel and Wayne Manor are “all very much in support of [the training requirement] and willing to promote it,” D’Agaro said. Wayne Manor is the only SLG participating in these trainings as they are the primary SLG that mixes with sororities.
Presidents of the three organizations did not respond to a request for comment.
The SHAPE and SAPT training will cover safe rush events, party protocols, consent, bystander intervention, power dynamics in Greek life, Duke’s culture of sexual assault/harassment and resources for survivors.
“We think that, as of right now, the [first-year] trainings that are available for the school are not sufficiently set up for students to have a safe Greek life experience and party experience,” D’Agaro said.
All first-years are required to complete Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates, an online course, before they arrive on campus.
While SHAPE and Duke administrators work closely on other policies and projects, administrators were not involved in the creation and organization of these trainings, according to D’Agaro.
McMahon and Shruti Desai, associate vice president of student affairs for campus life, did not respond to a request for comment.
Typically, new members of fraternities and sororities only receive required trainings from SAPT after they join. But this new training from SHAPE and SAPT prior to rush aim to prevent “incidents that occur in the fall and early in the semester [during rush], and then those people might get into a chapter or get a bid, and then later stuff will come out about them,” D’Agaro said.
When asked whether there are measures in place for groups found giving bids to those who didn't participate in pre-rush training, D’Agaro wrote that “we are still figuring logistics for how the mandatory aspect will play out in rush.”
Attendance at the trainings will be tracked by all chapters. D’Agaro estimates 600 students attended the four training sessions offered on Sunday and Monday. A makeup date will be offered before recruitment begins in January.
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Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously editor-in-chief for Volume 118.