Addressing Sexual Violence

Dear Sisters,

As we gradually move towards the end of the fall semester, I want to reiterate the importance of the safety and well-being of our members. Over the past year, the Governing Council has taken time to listen to our members’ thoughts about sexual assault on college campuses and ideas for how Chi Omega can help educate our members on this important issue.

This topic continues to be at the forefront of public discussion. As national president, I feel it is important for you to know that Chi Omega has taken steps to protect our community, and will continue to have a strong voice in the national conversation on how to prevent these violent and criminal acts.

Chi Omega provides each of our collegiate Sisters with risk management training every year, including a new module on sexual violence awareness and intervention, designed by experts to help protect the health, safety, and well-being of our members. Chi Omega will also continue to offer bystander behavior workshops where appropriate, participate in the National Panhellenic Conference’s Something of Value programs and encourage participation in any related campus-sponsored programming. In addition, we will continue to support the increased effort of the National Panhellenic Conference to have meaningful conversations about this topic in sorority and university communities.

Chi Omega continues to monitor discussions about this serious topic. In spring 2014, Chi Omega Executive Director Leslie Herington was personally invited to the White House, along with other fraternal leaders, to participate in a listening session regarding sexual assault, and best practices around prevention, responding, and adjudication. The National Panhellenic Conference continues to engage in dialogue with members of Congress, as well as other women’s organizations, to find ways to end violence against women.

We understand that there is great interest in discussion around the topic of legislation regarding sexual assault and campus safety. Chi Omega supports National Panhellenic Conference efforts and remains committed to advancing solutions to improve campus safety.

Chi Omega supports our Sisters, and all survivors. Should anyone share her story of sexual assault with you, I encourage you to listen. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert; you just have to be a friend. It’s important we continue this dialogue for the safety of our members, and encourage Sisters to seek information and support through campus and community resources across the country.

Sisters, the Governing Council cares deeply about each of you. There is absolutely nothing more important than your safety and well-being. Look out for one another, and continue to keep your Sisters “ever at heart.”

Loyally,
Shelley Potter
Chi Omega National President
For more about how the National Panhellenic Conference is continuing the discussion on sexual violence and other important topics that could impact our members, click here.  You may also email ChiOmega@ChiOmega.com to share your feedback.  Comments will be compiled and shared with the Governing Council.