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Students address sexual assault at MU summit

Students, faculty, and alumni came together on the University of Missouri’s campus at a summit Saturday to discuss how to curb sexual assault within Greek Life.

The summit comes on the heels of widespread outrage from students after they saw a list of proposed limitations on fraternities and sororities.

The four protested proposals included restrictions on visiting hours for women at fraternities, a no hard liquor policy, a drug testing policy and a limit to out-of-town formals.

Additionally, one proposal recommended Greek students be required to attend a sexual assault education summit.

The women of the Panhellenic Association sent a letter to Chancellor Bowen Loftin – protesting the restrictions put on women visiting fraternity houses.

While administrators said the summit was planned before the policies were released and that they were only suggestions meant to encourage debate, Greek women said they deserved to have a say in the discussion regardless.

“Our intent of the letter was to make sure we got a seat at the table, which we definitely did today,” said PHA President Allison Fitts. “I think the big thing moving forward is to continue to have women at the table when it comes to making policies regarding their safety.”

Greek leaders said they believe if everyone, administrators and students alike, stay committed to open conversations like the summit, it could produce better ideas and concrete plans to address sexual assault on campus.

“There were so many rumors going around about what is it going to be, what the proposals and policies were going to look like, so it was nice to get all the parties sitting at one table discussing it,” said Interfraternity Council President Jason Blincow said. “Honestly I think everyone came in with an open mind, which made everything so productive.”

“If we all continue to work together, I know I’m committed to it, I know PHA is committed to it, then good things will definitely result,” said Fitts.

Fitts said although the groups at the summit discussed many of the consortium’s policies, they have made no final decisions on any of them.

Blincow said many Greek members left optimistic about the future and have decided to work on other policies that will bring more education on sexual assault not just to leaders in the Greek community, but to all members.

Vice Chancellor Cathy Scroggs said there will be more meetings in the future and hopes MU’s discussions can be a model for colleges across the nation.

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