Chapter signs pledge against sexual assault

By Courtney Clevenger, UTSA

SAN ANTONIO — A fraternity at UTSA is leading a national Fraternity/Sorority Life platform against sexual assault. The Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) chapter at UTSA has joined forces with advocate Brenda Tracy to create a #SetTheExpectation pledge for fraternities, sororities and student organizations across the nation.

Tracy travels the country sharing her story as a survivor of a 1998 gang rape by football players. Since coming forward in 2014, she has made it her mission to educate, engage and inspire her audiences to speak out against sexual assault and physical violence by taking the #SetTheExpectation pledge.

She visited the UTSA campus in February and shared her story with hundreds of UTSA students, faculty and staff. Many UTSA students, including athletes who have their own pledge, signed the promise. Following her presentation, Fiji members spoke with Tracy about the idea to develop a pledge specific to the Fraternity/Sorority Life community.

“She mentioned that she had been wanting to make a Fraternity/Sorority Life pledge but wasn’t sure where to start since she hadn’t been part of a sorority,” said Justin Rodriguez, president of Fiji at UTSA.

Fiji members worked with Tracy and her team to write the pledge. It is now on her website along with pledges for athletes and anyone else who wants to sign it.

            >> Sign the #SetTheExpectation pledge.

“Fraternity and Sorority Life across the nation in particular has been associated with these issues, and as a group of men who wants to influence our community and Fraternity/Sorority Life as a whole, we wanted to lead the charge,” said Rodriguez, a junior psychology student.

Earlier this month, Fiji invited Tracy back to UTSA to speak during their Philanthropy Week. The group dedicated one day to helping sororities encourage all UTSA students to take the pledge. As a result, more than 500 people at UTSA signed the pledge in one day. Fiji members are now using social media and Tracy’s platform to spread the word about the Fraternity/Sorority Life pledge. They are currently working with Phi Gamma Delta International Headquarters to share the pledge with other chapters and make #SetTheExpectation a national philanthropy partner.

“As successful as our effort was, there is more work to be done,” said Rodriguez. “We need everyone’s support to truly make a difference and bring positive change to our community.”

In addition to Tracy’s visits, the UTSA Office of Student Advocacy, Violence Prevention and Empowerment and UTSA students have put together a full slate of activities to recognize April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.