This weekend, Sigma Nu and Tri Delta will host a registered party together at the fraternity’s house. This is the first time this editorial board has known of women involved with hosting, planning and working security at a registered fraternity party on campus.
It should happen more often.
Registered fraternity parties are some of the only weekend parties widely accessible to all students. The entire campus is invited, Campus Safety is aware of the event and no alcohol is allowed inside. Students who want to go out on weekends may not always have other options, especially newer students who have not yet gotten to know older students who hold parties at off-campus residences.
While these parties are an accessible option for students, they can also be chaotic and overwhelming, creating an environment prone to various forms of harassment and assault.
Considering many students have had negative experiences in fraternity spaces, security should be present, attentive and approachable. Students, particularly women, might feel more comfortable approaching other women or individuals who are not affiliated with the house if a problem occurs.
Fraternity members should be helping with security, but the campus community could benefit from people outside of the organizations being involved as well. Developing a club or task force that specifically focuses on this issue would be a great step.
Effective security is present, sober, aware and most importantly, educated. Those working security should complete active bystander training, consent workshops and know how to identify warning signs. In addition to learning how to effectively deal with a problem when it does occur, dialogues about the creation of a safer party space should also be facilitated.
Party security should not be a one night job, but an ongoing effort to discuss, formulate and most importantly, take proactive steps toward safe, comfortable spaces for everyone.
This initiative could be taken on by the Title IX office, Panhellenic Council or a club like SASS or ASAP could consider spearheading it. The development of this task force would allow students to receive training and get involved in an active and visible way on campus, working in collaboration to make the college a safer place.
If such a task force develops, it should be visible and approachable so students know who to look for if they need help inside. The initiative should be open to any interested person on campus, not only women, who are dedicated to making registered fraternity parties a safer environment for all students.
If students are volunteering to help work security at registered parties, that shows party-goers that there are people who truly care about their safety.