Forum addresses alcohol, date rape

By Laura Ingalls

Arizona Daily Wildcat

About 20 Greek students discussed the relationship between alcohol and date rape in a forum at the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house Sunday night.

The forum was intended to address two recent rapes that allegedly occurred at two UA fraternity houses, said Cher Fox, who organized the event. The forum was sponsored by the Greek Board Promoting Jewish Programming on Campus.

Four UA-related sexual assaults were reported during the last three weeks, two of which allegedly occurred at the Delta Chi and Delta Tau Delta fraternities. The other two reportedly occurred at off-campus apartment complexes.

"I think now is just a hot time for it," Fox said. Sexual assault and alcohol awareness is always an important topic, but the recent press coverage of the alleged rapes made the forum more essential, she said.

"It's not necessarily the Greek system, but any place where alcohol is consumed," said Louis Breton, a speaker from Campus Acquaintance Rape Educators. "Those are places with a higher possibility for rape occurrences."

Breton had the students perform a role reversal game in which a female student pressured a male student for sex. The game sparked discussion about the real reasons behind sexual assault on campus.

Alcohol use is involved in about 90 percent of sexual assaults on campus, said Breton, quoting UAPD statistics.

Students agreed that alcohol abuse increases the possibility of sexual assault.

"If you're going to go out and get so loaded, it's never right to violate a man or woman, but you've got to take responsibility for yourself when you go out. If you've been at a fraternity house every night with a guy here and a guy there, what do you think is going to happen?" said Jennifer Rosenfield, a psychology senior. Rosenfield said several of her friends become victims of sexual assault, especially when alcohol is involved.

Setting drink limits and designating friends to hold one accountable to those limits is a good tactic to deter sexual assault, said Rosalie Barsky, of Jewish Family and Children's Services. Barsky, a psychiatrist, helps sexual

assault victims recover from their trauma.

"You do need to know that if you drink six beers you're abusing a substance and it is one of the things that can get you in trouble. It's the truth. If you get into the habit of doing it when you're young, you're going to end up at 12-step programs when you're older," she said.

She said victims go through a series of recovery steps that starts with reporting the crime, whether to a friend or the police. If the problem is never dealt with the victim may have problems in future relationships, she said.

"It is an important part of overcoming what's happened to you. You never fully recover from a major victimization, but you can live life, be fulfilled and be healthy and can reach out to help other people," Barsky said.

Breton also discussed myths associated with acquaintance rape, such as "She was drunk so she wanted it" or "I couldn't stop after I got started."

"You can stop. Nobody's ever died of an erection. You can stop," Breton said. Men need to make sure if a woman is saying no but her physical movements suggest yes, that they go by what she is saying.

"If the word no comes out of her mouth, it's no. Not yes, not maybe, it's no," he said.

Ayrn Harris, an undeclared sophomore, said the recent rapes would never get half the attention if they had not happened at fraternities.

"One little thing and they're just sitting on edge to nail us," she said.

Since Greek chapters are well-known national organizations, they are targets for negative press, said Rachel Levkowitz, a merchandizing and consumer studies sophomore.

"It would be like someone from the Hilton chain committing rape and everyone boycotting that hotel," she said.

However, acquaintance rape has gotten more attention and more women may report sexual assault since the allegations surfaced in the media, said Joel Charnick, a pre-exercise and sports sciences sophomore.

"It's important for articles to get written so things come out like that," said Charnick, a Delta Tau Delta member.

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