Education

Student: 'Community solution' required to end sexual assault on campuses

Posted April 12

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— April is sexual assault awareness month and a number of college campuses, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are taking up conversations about how to end sexual violence.

UNC-CH students on Wednesday evening gathered for a rally and 1-mile march sponsored by fraternity and sorority members at the school.

Many in attendance said they know someone affected by sexual violence, which is a problem on college campuses around the country.

The purpose of the event is to give people the necessary information to change the culture surrounding sexual violence on campus.

Organizers said changing the culture also means holding those who commit sexual assault accountable, and they said it’s important that people in the campus’ Greek community sponsor the event.

“Fraternity men are more likely to be perpetrators of sexual assault and sorority women are more likely to be victims, so it is a community problem that has to have a community solution. It has to be people within the community demanding change,” said organizer Andrew Clark.

Like many in the crowd, Andrew Clark has also seen the damage from sexual assault.

"There are people I am close to in my personal life who I know who are affected by that and that is something you hear about once and then think about for the rest of your life," he said.

Rachel Allen is an advocate at a sorority dealing with sexual assault issues and she said the stories are tough to hear.

"You would be surprised how pervasive it is. One in five college students experience sexual assault," Allen said. "Something needs to be done to change the culture, to change the way things are."

After the march through campus, students talked in small groups about how to make the cultural change a reality.

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