Proposed organization to combat sexual violence

Truman State students are trying to bring Consent is so Frat, a national movement working to end sexual violence, to the university’s campus.

This national movement uses student advocacy to teach about consent and end sexual assault. While CISF was working to become a formal organization at Truman, the students involved with the movement learned Nov. 2 that CISF was not approved by the Center for Student Involvement.

Senior Casey Wright, a campus representative for CISF, says she is not sure what the next steps will be since the CSI did not approve CISF. She says she still wants to work with the national CISF organization to teach the Greek community about consent but will now have to move forward without support from the university. For example, organizations that are not approved by the CSI are unable to reserve campus rooms for regular meetings.

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The Center for Student Involvement approves and regulates campus organizations. Truman’s potential chapter of Consent Is So Frat did not receive CSI’s approval.

Wright says she and the other campus representatives decided to try to get CISF charted with the CSI because of the success of an informational meeting about this organization during Oct. 1. She says about 20 students from eight different Greek organizations attended this meeting.

Wright says her vision for CISF is that more students in Greek life will become campus representatives and teach others in their sororities or fraternities about consent. She says she also wants this organization to be involved with Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April, bring speakers to campus and partner with organizations such as the Sexual Assault Prevention Committee, Women’s Resource Center and University Counseling Services.

While the ultimate goal is to end sexual assault across university campuses, Wright says CISF works specifically with the Greek community. She says this is beneficial because while consent might be uncomfortable for people to talk about, she believes it is easier for people to talk about with members of their organizations.

Wright says she learned about CISF last year from CSI Director Laura Bates. Wright says she was excited about what the organization was doing nationally, and she wanted to bring that to Truman, so she applied to be a campus representative.

“Consent is something people are hard pressed to talk about,” Wright says. “It is an issue on Truman’s campus, and we want to have an honest conversation about what consent means and how we can, as Greek members, live up to our potential, being responsible citizens and practicing consent.”

Bates says that she thinks this organization is beneficial because the Greek community is at high risk for sexual assault. She said the organization was started by Greek alumni to decrease sexual violence across the country.

One advantage of CISF is its focus on peer education, Bates says.

“I think a peer movement can be really powerful,” Bates says. “My hope is that it helps students be engaged and take ownership of their behavior.”

Junior Kelsey Moore, another CISF campus representative, says CISF will at first only be open to members of the Greek community. She says during the future, CISF might open up to members of non-Greek organizations.

However, Moore says the efforts of CISF will still positively impact the entire Truman community. For example, the group might bring guest speakers to campus during Homecoming or Greek Week, and those talks would be open to anyone.

“If we are able to make a positive impact, it will impact other students as well,” Moore says. “It’s not just the Greek community. If we’re able to have this positive talk with all these organizations, it will also benefit the rest of the campus.”