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Fraternity Men Work to Combat Sexual Violence

Interfraternity Council program provides peer-to-peer training

Story by Sarah Sabatke
Photo courtesy of Interfraternity Council
Published Feb. 28, 2017

12 fraternity men pose together

Interfraternity Council 2017 peer educators

While state lawmakers work to pass legislation to increase safety on college campuses, members of the Interfraternity Council at MU are working to educate fraternity members about interpersonal violence in hopes of making MU safer one person at a time.

Michael Pasternock has been involved with the IFC peer educators program since its resurrection in late 2015. He was trained by the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center during the second semester of his freshman year.

“The purpose of the program is to end gender-based violence and sexual assault on our campus through education and proactive measures that empower fraternity men at Mizzou,” said Pasternock, a junior from Chicago studying English and secondary English education.

The students work closely with the RSVP Center, Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, Wellness Resource Center, MU Police Department and MU Counseling Center, among others.

Kim Scates, RSVP education coordinator, is “our lady behind the curtain that does a lot of behind-the-scenes [work] for us, who has really been a true great friend and asset to the peer educators program,” said Ryan O’Connor, 2016 vice president of risk management for IFC.

O’Connor, a senior communications major from Chicago, oversees about 3,200 fraternity men and works with individual chapters to remind them of their current policies and to help them improve policies if they are not effective.

O’Connor and Sean Miller, IFC vice president of programming, keep the peer educators program on track – this includes setting the agenda, running weekly meetings and recruiting new members. New members train during the spring semester before they begin presenting as IFC peer educators. O'Connor says most of their trainings focus on the topics of "Men and Masculinity" and "Party Culture." 

Educators also have the opportunity to take a relationship violence prevention class taught by Scates.

O’Connor hopes the program will continue to teach young men on MU’s campus to be active bystanders and to stop accepting a culture of violence on college campuses.

“The standard that you walk past is the standard that you accept,” said O’Connor. “If we continue to not address [the violence] as men – good men who really, genuinely care – then we’re really not going to get anywhere in this battle.”

IFC chapters can request presentations by the IFC peer educators through OrgSync.

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail: StudentAffairs@missouri.edu

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Last updated: Aug. 7, 2017