- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri Interfraternity Council has budgeted more than $22,000 to create a sexual violence awareness program that relies on peer educators.

Council President Alex Dyer said the focus is on teaching men in the Greek community that sexual violence “is a men’s issue more than just a women’s issue,” the Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1EbeEaG ) reports.

The first group of 18 participants will meet with organizers several times before the end of the year to finalize the curriculum for the new program. After going through training during the spring semester, they will be responsible for helping to teach the next class of men who go through the program. Participants also will help with educational opportunities aimed at the larger male Greek population on campus, said Interfraternity Council vice president of risk management Creighton Hayes.

Hayes said for many of the underclassmen, their experience in college and fraternities is the first time away from their parents’ guidance. The program goal is to stress self-awareness and awareness of their peers.

Ultimately, the Interfraternity Council leaders want one person from each fraternity in the program so when a particular fraternity wants to hold a sexual violence educational program, it can have its peer leader present along with others from different organizations and help make the atmosphere more comfortable for open discussion.

Hayes said this is the largest budgeted program for the Interfraternity Council.

“It’s lofty, but it’s worth it,” he said. “There’s not a bigger issue that we’re facing right now, and if this is something we can nip in the bud or knock out or at least educate people on, then it’s worth it.”

The $22,000 will go toward the cost of the peer educator classes and possible programming. Interfraternity Council organizers said this is seed money for the program that will not be used up entirely during the first year.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com



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