Week’s events aim to increase sexual assault awareness

Maura Zurick

Brady Ruffer, Delta Sigma Phi president, said he is hoping the first Sexual Assault Awareness Week will eliminate the negative associations with fraternities.

“My head, Greg Jarvie, the vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, talked to me about doing something for sexual assault awareness,” Ruffer said. “It is a really important issue in a campus setting. It’s a chance for fraternity men to stand up and try and change something.”

In a letter to Kent State fraternity members, Jarvie said women have a one in six chance of being sexually assaulted, and college women are four times as likely to be assaulted. Jarvie wrote he is hoping that people will participate in this week’s events and make a stand against sexual assault.

Michquel Penn, the community resource officer for the Kent State Police Department, said sexual assault victims don’t often speak out.

“I can only speak for KSUPD, and we do not handle very many incidents that have occurred here on campus, which is great,” Penn said. “However, sexual assault and similar offenses are commonly under-reported.”

Ruffer, a junior integrated social studies major, is the creator and organizer for the week’s events. Delta Sigma Phi brothers, other Greek organizations and the general public can attend.

The first event, called Turning Boys into Men, is March 30 at 7 p.m. in the Michael Schwartz Center auditorium. Ruffer said the organization Men Can Stop Rape is instructing the event. He said it is an interactive workshop that will train and strengthen members to help fight and prevent sexual assault. The event is free and open to all students.

The Center for Student Involvement is covering the cost of the event.

The second event, Pizza Wars, is March 31 at 7 p.m. in the second floor cafeteria of the Student Center. Ruffer said it is a philanthropy event that will raise money for Townhall II. Participants can pay $5 to eat pizza from each place and vote on the best pizza shop.

Townhall II in Kent is a center that provides services for substance abuse and domestic violence, and it helps ensure wellness and recovery for individuals.

“Townhall II is a great resource for the community, and with state budget cuts they’re struggling with funding, and we’re hoping this will help them out,” Ruffer said.

Contact Maura Zurick at [email protected]