Date rape to be subject of ASUA, Kappa Sigma forum

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Date rape and other campus safety issues will be discussed tonight in a forum presented by ASUA and Kappa Sigma fraternity.

George Jenson, the Kappa Sigma advisor, will present a 15-minute film at 7 p.m. in Social Sciences 100 and will then facilitate a discussion, Sen. Ethan Orr said.

"Whenever a date rape occurs it affects someone dramatically," Orr said. He said he planned the event after many students told them it was an important campus concern.

"I think date rape is an important issue because so many students think it is important," Jenson said. "There are a lot of students who are potential victims and prevention is the best cure."

Sixteen rapes were reported to the UA Police Department between 1986 and 1993, according to UAPD Assistant Chief Harry Hueston in an October 1993 Arizona Daily Wildcat article. Only one of the cases, involving an attack at Steward Observatory was prosecuted, he said.

National statistics, however, report that one of four university students have been raped or have suffered attempted rape, Jensen said.

Of adult women rape victims, 78 percent knew their assailants and rape victims are very unlikely to report a rape by a date or acquaintance, said Cynthia Rouw of the Tucson Rape Crisis Center.

Acquaintance rape constituted 75 percent, or 152 of the 203 rape cases the crisis center handled in 1993, Rouw said. Most rapes were reported by the 16- to 24-year-old age bracket, she said.

Jenson said he has made a similar presentation to many sororities and fraternities on campus, but said he thinks a forum like tonight's is a great opportunity to facilitate discussion between men and women.

"Men don't typically like to attend events like this, but they need to hear the message as much as women do," he said.

Jenson also said the majority of attendants at last year's forum were males.

A member of Kappa Sigma's national alcohol and drug education board, Jenson said he became interested in date rape education when he realized alcohol was a factor in most acquaintance rapes.

According to a a 1988 study, 75 percent of males and 55 percent of female students involved in a rape incident had been drinking, he said.

Orr said the date rape forum is the first of several monthly forums he is planning with Mary Peterson, one of his staff members. October's discussion will focus on parking, transportation and future expansion of the UA, he said.

T.J. Trujillo, ASUA president, will also kickoff a safety campaign tonight by distributing plastic whistles imprinted with the Escort Service phone number, said Rebecca Butler, ASUA media relations director.

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