The University of Illinois Interfraternity Council (IFC) has had a long-standing partnership with the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) as in our governing documents we mandate all fraternity men in their second year of membership to undergo sexual assault awareness education. 90% of the IFC Chapters on this campus have utilized the WRC’s services within a typical year.
Illinois’ ICARE bystander intervention program was halted in 2020 due to severe financial limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, however the 2021 Interfraternity Council Executive Board believes that ensuring students have the skill-building education to be active partners in addressing sexual misconduct is an essential factor in being part of the Illinois community. ICARE is a workshop focused on the dynamics of sexual assault, ways to support a survivor, understanding consent, and campus and community resources. The Interfraternity Council has dedicated $5,000 to continue offering this program to not only students in the IFC community but to all students and student groups within the University of Illinois community. The funding of this program will not only provide sexual assault education to students across campus but will also provide continued employment security to those students that serve as facilitators of the program.The Interfraternity Council believes this programming is extremely important and proud to have been able to support this critical initiative this year.
When asked about the importance of this partnership Nicholas Clemens, President of the Interfraternity Council, stated, “The reason we are donating funds for this program is because people within our community can and should play a role in addressing sexual assault within our campus community and beyond.” We also would like to encourage our community members to explore the opportunity to become part of the group that proctors the ICARE program as we know that will translate to an even better understanding for the participants and their peers.
Sarah Colomé, Director of the Women’s Resources Center praised the significance of the partnership stating, “The Interfraternity Council’s support was critical to ensuring the continuation of the ICARE program this year. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the public health crisis that is sexual violence, and the Council’s support models the type of leadership that Greek letter organizations, and specifically fraternities, can have in the fight to end sexual misconduct.”
The Interfraternity Council wants to make it extremely clear that any occurrence of sexual assault or violence is not and will never be tolerated within our community. We would like to thank the University of Illinois Women’s Resource Center for their continued support in this partnership and we look forward to many years of this continued relationship.