Scrolling Headlines:

UMass community grieves for beloved friend and mentor James Tilley -

February 10, 2016

Amherst Board of Health votes against reinstating College Pizza’s food establishment license -

February 10, 2016

Top 25 Notebook: Duke gets back on winning track taking down No.13 Louisville Monday -

February 10, 2016

Battle of the bottom: UMass women’s basketball travels to La Salle Wednesday -

February 10, 2016

UMass hockey averts crisis in 4-3 overtime thriller against AIC -

February 10, 2016

Steven Iacobellis and Austin Plevy rekindle their relationship on the ice -

February 10, 2016

My generation may be ‘Feeling the Bern’, but I’m still with Clinton -

February 10, 2016

Favoritism in the school system -

February 10, 2016

The perfect Valentine’s Day treat: Dark chocolate ganache -

February 10, 2016

Eat, sleep, strap on a fitness band, repeat -

February 10, 2016

Storify: Sanders, Trump both record large victories in Granite State -

February 9, 2016

Dear UMass Administration: Practice what you preach -

February 9, 2016

Student-run political groups gear up for the Massachusetts primary -

February 9, 2016

UMass prepares for matchups with AIC, Northeastern -

February 9, 2016

Football, social Goods, and choice -

February 9, 2016

Rihanna makes her biggest artistic statement on ‘Anti’ -

February 9, 2016

Berthiaume Center recognized with top entrepreneurship award -

February 9, 2016

Massachusetts club hockey holds on for 5-4 victory over Montclair State -

February 9, 2016

A-10 Notebook: Davidson, George Washington earn conference wins -

February 9, 2016

Amherst hires new interim town manager -

February 9, 2016

UMass students pledge not to commit domestic violence

Male students from the University of Massachusetts took the court at half time of the UMass men’s basketball game against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night as part of the White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women.

Em Bhoo/Collegian

The students stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the sideline, many of them sporting the colors of their respective Greek life organizations, and repeated the pledge given by Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan and Isenberg School of Management lecturer Steve Jefferson.

Participating males made a personal pledge to, “never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.”

By the campaign’s definition, the violence could be physical, emotional, verbal or sexual.

The White Ribbon Campaign originated in Canada in 1991, and has since spread to 55 countries across the world. This will mark the fourth year the campaign has been on campus, according to Michael Wiseman, director of the office fraternities and sororities – one of the events’ biggest sponsors on campus.

This campaign comes at a time when many women feel unsafe on campus at night, according to a survey taken last year by the Community Police Advisory Board.

The survey found that 53 percent of students feel safe on campus and 43 percent of students feel somewhat safe, but only 11 percent of females feel safe at night.

“There is a lot of stigma around the issue, so the actual numbers could be much higher,” said Akshay Kapoor, secretary of diversity for the SGA. “People are often afraid to come out and admit that they have been sexually assaulted.”

In particular, he pointed to outlying parking lots as a problem area, especially when people are walking to their cars late at night.

“It’s not OK for someone to feel afraid because they perceive someone else to have more power over them because of their gender,” said Kapoor.

In the three past years, the campaign has seen an average of 100 men taking the pledge per-year, according Wiseman.

Wiseman’s organization works in conjunction with the Every Woman’s Center, the Center for Health Promotions, UMass Athletics and the Department of Sports Management to make this event a reality.

Although not all, many of the involved men are part of Greek life because, “We want to make sure our men are aware of what the realities are for woman and domestic violence,” said Wiseman.

Kapoor, a member of Greek life himself, explained that men in fraternities are often subject to an unfair stigma in regards to their treatment of women.

“We are under more scrutiny, not only from the town and the school, but also from national organizations,” said Kapoor.

According to Wiseman, fraternities and sororities spend a lot of their time educating members on abuse and assault.

“We do workshops and presentations at chapter and council meetings,” said Wiseman. “We try to do outreach through out the year.”

As Kapoor sees it, violence against women has been socially constructed, almost to a point where people see it as acceptable, or an inevitable part of life.

“We have socially normalized it,” said Kapoor. “So in a sense, people think it’s okay to treat women this way.”

“We are trying to reverse that idea,” said Kapoor.

Zachary Weishar can be reached at zweishar@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “UMass students pledge not to commit domestic violence”
  1. Wut? says:

    Who is this guy stating that violence against women is a social norm? No man, unless he is a coward and mentally unstable, thinks this is true.

Leave A Comment