It’s a big step for the largest Greek system in Canada.
Fraternity members at the University of British Columbia will now be required to take annual seminars with the AMS Sexual Assualt Support Centre (SASC).
It was a move spearheaded by Interfraternity Council (IFC) President Jamie Gill, who oversees the regulatory body.
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“There are 10 fraternities that the IFC looks over,” says Gill. “Combined with the eight sororities, we have almost 2,000 students that are in their own chapter,” says Gill.
He explains that when he began his term as president, the IFC quickly changed their bylaws to incorporate mandatory training for executive members and newer members – commonly referred to as pledges.
Their most recent move has tweaked the bylaw to apply to all members.
The seminars, which were created with the help of the SASC, will include consent 101, bystander intervention, and healthier masculinity.
“Combined, these three have the most effect on the fraternity system,” says Gill. “Everyone needs to know what consent is and how to properly ask for it. Or if you see something that could be potentially harmful, how to get involved and stop it from happening.”
“We also want to make sure that the idea of masculinity is taught to fraternities in a healthy way.”
The seminars are offered free of charge, a move that Gill is incredibly grateful to the SASC for. The only charge is a fine to the chapter for those that don’t attend.
“It’s tough, but when it comes down to it, this $1,000 fine will be donated back to SASC,” he says. “The money can be used to produce seminars like this.”
“In an ideal world, this wouldn’t occur. But some fraternities have ghost members – active members that don’t go to meetings, events, or participate too often – the fine might motivate them to go.”
Overall, Gill credits much of this movement to the helping hand that the SASC was able to provide.
“It’s been amazing, sitting down and working with Alex Dauncey of the SASC,” he explains. “He’s been great in terms of adjustments, customizing the presentation, and making sure this message can really hit home.”