SDSU fraternities suspend social events

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SAN DIEGO -- Fraternities at San Diego State University announced Tuesday that social events have been suspended in the wake of several on-campus sexual assaults.

In a statement released by SDSU, leaders of the Greek organizations said they will “immediately take proactive steps toward addressing this extremely serious issue and the Greek community's role in it.”

They said they will conduct sexual assault prevention and bystander training, and participate in events and activities that promote an end to sexual violence.

The statement referred to a recent incident in which a group of fraternity members allegedly “acted in an inappropriate and disrespectful manner” toward participants in a “Take Back the Night” march. The Greek leaders said if the allegations are true, the “conduct is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the Greek community at SDSU.”

“I commend the leaders of the Greek community for recognizing our shared responsibility to end sexual violence and taking these proactive steps to address this critical issue,” SDSU President Elliot Hirshman said. “We must work as one community to create the substantive changes necessary to end sexual violence on our campus.

The steps outlined today are the beginning of what must be a sustained effort to change attitudes, culture and actions and the university is committed to working with, and supporting, our Greek community as it pursues these essential efforts,” Hirshman said. A woman reported being assaulted at a party in the 5500 block of Hardy Avenue last Saturday night, while another woman said a group of men tried to pull her into a car near campus early Sunday morning.

Awareness of the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses has been growing. Two months ago, President Barack Obama asked college students to commit to contributing to a safe college environment.

The University of Virginia recently suspended all fraternities until Jan. 9 while it deals with a sexual assault problem. In an article in Rolling Stone, a UVA student said she was gang-raped by seven male students at a fraternity house two years ago.

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