Written by Jade Oribello
“Subtle Asian” pages on Facebook provide a safe community for members to share funny, relatable graphics, tips and advice, and other bits of information that are related to the Asian community and culture. One such page is “Subtle Asian Greeks”, where members have to be Asian-Interest Greek Organization members. This page specifically is often filled with class crossing announcements, relatable memes, and networking posts to foster a community worldwide. Then this past summer, in light of recent social movements encouraging the world to speak up about injustices that plague our communities, heartbreaking stories began to surface on the page detailing the untold sexual assault experiences in the Asian Greek community.
In order to begin the conversation on how to help and support our fellow Asian-Greek members, we decided to host APhiG Discusses: Sexual Assault in the Greek Community with UIUC’s Women’s Resource Center for our Fall 2020 Focus Event. Together we aimed to educate the community on how to combat sexual assault in an environment that is typically known for these specific incidents. The discussion touched base on how one should respond if a person goes to them for guidance, as well as appropriate and inappropriate responses to sexual assault stories shared with members in the overall Greek community and general public. Attendees also learned important statistics and history of sexual assault in the Greek community specifically, and how sharing informational posts can help the public continuously combat this injustice. As our philanthropy is geared towards the women who go through domestic violence, we also talked about other groups in society who still go through domestic violence and sexual assault such as individuals who identify as male. Since society lacks discussion about topics like this, we wanted to create a safe space for it in order to improve our community and its allyship.
We are grateful for the UIUC’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC) for helping us carry out this event and discussion. Founded in 2009, the WRC provides confidential advocacy and support services for members of the community dealing with all types of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to domestic violence, harassment, and abuse. Their goal is to improve the environment on campus for women through implementing programs that address important social issues, such as this one. Though their goal is geared toward providing for the women on campus, they advocate for equality across all genders and communities.
As we continue our journey as a new charter on campus, we hope to carry out discussions that further broaden our horizons and create a safe space for our peers to discuss topics not often spoken about. People from different Greek organizations came out to be educated on sexual assault as well as discuss what we can all do to keep each other accountable, and were provided with additional resources that are available for survivors. It was a great way to start talking about this topic and hopefully this event paved a path for more discussion in the future about preventing sexual assault within the Greek community.