VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Fraternity members at the University of British Columbia will now have to take part in annual training sessions that tackle issues like consent and sexual misconduct.
It’s a move being pushed by the Inter-Fraternity Council, with President Jamie Gill saying the program is a good place to start.
“It’s absolutely necessary, and I’m shocked that there wasn’t something along these lines sooner,” he says. “It’s really dangerous to have a large group of people uneducated in such sensitive matters.”
While it’s a relatively new program, Gill says the Council plans to keep it in place moving forward.
New and executive members of chapters at UBC were required at the start of this year to attend a training session, crafted by the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), he explains.
“Essentially what is encompassed in the training is bystander intervention, healthier masculinity, and consent 101 all combined into one hour and a half to two hour seminar,” Gill adds.
He says two fraternities and their members are hosted at a time, and describes the first of the sessions as a success.
The seminars were introduced last year, in November, but have since been voted into the Council’s bylaws.
“So we decided to go ahead and move forward with this bylaw change, and it’s now mandatory for the entirety of the chapter to attend, which was just enacted just this past week.”
The sessions are offered to members free of charge. If a member refuses to take part in the mandatory session, Gill says a $1,000 fine is enacted upon that person’s chapter.
“This $1,000 that we receive, it’s donated back to SASC so they can continue to produce seminars like this. Of course, in an ideal world, this will not happen. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of punishment for things but at the end of the day, if one member of a 100-man chapter chooses not to attend one of these seminars, I like to think that perhaps he might be motivated by this fine,” he tells NEWS 1130.
The Inter-Fraternity Council represents 10 fraternities at UBC.