Students in fraternities and sororities learned about sexual harassment and unhealthy relationships at mandatory Title IX training this quarter.
The UCLA Title IX Office, Campus Assault Resources & Education, and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life hosted eight sexual violence prevention workshops this quarter for students in Greek life, said Aaron Lopez, the Associate Response Team coordinator at UCLA’s Title IX Office. Each workshop had 500 available spots for attendees.
UCLA began requiring additional workshops for members of Greek life in 2014, in response to a California audit calling for more sexual harassment training. The audit called for schools to provide more sexual violence training to student groups that report having higher numbers of sexual assault survivors or respondents to sexual assault allegations.
Lopez said this year’s workshops for students in Greek life focused on four major themes: alcohol and sexual violence, upstander intervention, sexual harassment, and healthy and unhealthy relationships.
“We chose four different modules and every year students can come and find one that they are more interested in. I don’t just teach what I think is important for people,” Lopez said. “We really try to connect and try to feel what people are most interested in and can benefit from.”
Lindsey Goldstein, acting director of fraternity and sorority life at UCLA, added her office requires every member of fraternities and sororities to attend a workshop each year. The chapters are prohibited from hosting social events if their members do not reach 100 percent attendance.
Goldstein said UCLA’s fraternities and sororities have had a 100-percent attendance rate since the new workshops were initiated.
Fraternity and sorority life enforces attendance by requiring students to sign in and out of each workshop with their Bruin cards.
Bella Martin, general representative 2 of the Undergraduate Students Association Council and member of Gamma Phi Beta, said she thinks the workshop alone will not change the culture of sexual assault.
“We need this times 20, with peer teachers, with delineated consequences and things that have more teeth than a cute little info session,” she said.
Martin added she thinks the workshop is a good start to confronting the bigger issue of sexual harassment.
“Just because this (Title IX workshop) can’t fix everything doesn’t mean we can’t make a conscious effort to acknowledge it and talk about it,” she said.
This year’s workshops included pop culture references relatable to students, said Goldstein. One of the workshops showed a compilation of scenes in romance movies, including Twilight, which Goldstein said presents stalking and sexual harassment as a societal norm.
“This is what Hollywood tells us is real love,” she said.
Samantha Kelly, a first-year global studies student and member of Greek life, said she thought the movie clips were informative.
“I never noticed stalking in Hollywood films,” Kelly said. “I didn’t put that together and notice those patterns.”
Alicia Oeser, the director of CARE, said she recognizes that the workshops alone are insufficient to change the sexual violence culture.
“It’s a movement that happens slowly over time. We see changes in conversation, changes in rates of sexual violence,” Oeser said. “(Sexual violence) is not something we will be able to eliminate without a larger-scale movement.”