Fiji denounces events at UNL, looks to spread awareness


Sami Mirza

Formerly the home of the Pi chapter of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, the 454 House next to Quigley Hall is now the home of the college’s admissions team.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lambda Nu chapter of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity — also known as “Fiji” — was involved in a sexual assault case in late August. A member of the fraternity was involved in the rape of a student from the University.

Fiji commented on the actions that took place at UNL via its Allegheny Pi chapter Instagram account. It denounced the actions of the fraternity’s chapter at UNL and extended its condolences and support to those involved in the incident. Furthermore, Fiji also noted that it treats such cases very seriously.

The fraternity’s statement emphasized that it is an organization that focuses on building courageous leaders and maintained that when a chapter of the fraternity is not upholding its motto and standards then it must be held accountable for its actions. Fiji also reinforced its mission to make members of the community safe and included in its activities and to raise awareness regarding issues such as sexual assault and discrimination.

Fiji President Marcus Wolf, ’22, talked about the recent event organized by the fraternity and “Why Not Us?” in late August.

“Why Not Us and the members of the Pi chapter of Phi Gamma Delta hosted three Days of Solidarity for our community to come together in support of sexual assault survivors, near and far,” Wolf said. “We sought to offer a space for members of the community to come and learn about sexual assault, domestic violence and bystander programming. Community members were able to express their support for sexual assault survivors everywhere by filling out our community pledge against sexual violence.”

Co-President and Public Relations Chair of Why Not Us Bree Gray, ’23, explained that the club was founded to propagate a culture of consent at Allegheny as well as to empower survivors on our campus.

“We avidly strive to uplift and amplify the voices of our survivors on campus and those on other campuses as well,” Gray said. “We provide Title IX programming as well as host events geared towards raising awareness about sexual assault, domestic violence and other forms of sexual violence on college campuses, especially during the Red Zone — the period of time up until Thanksgiving Break where colleges see a very large increase in sexual assault cases.”

Over 160 pledges were received by Why Not Us and Fiji during the three-day event. Taking pledges of consent is only part of the solution to the bigger problem of sexual assault and rape on college campuses, according to Gray.

“We can pledge to ask for consent and to stand united against sexual assault on our campus, but it will not end rape culture on college campuses,” Gray said. “Ending this vicious cycle is on us as a community to unpack and on the administration as a governing body to ensure that reported cases are thoroughly investigated, regardless of who is involved.”

Sexual assault and violence are not limited to specific groups on campus and are present in many different facets of the campus community. Wolf believes that sexual assault is a problem prevalent within society.

“Sexual violence is a societal problem that affects 1-in-5 women and 1-in-71 men,” Wolf said.  “Moving past this societal crisis is going to take the support of all of society’s members.”

Wolf also believes that Greek life has an important role, along with other community members, in solving the problem of sexual assault and violence that is existent within the society.

“The Pi chapter participates in Sexual Assault Prevention training offered through our International Headquarters,” Wolf said. “Our chapter actively seeks to lead all organizations in the positive development of our community through the understanding by members of the Fraternity and Sorority Life community, as well as to be active bystanders in all situations.”

The responsibility of reporting any incident or potential incident is taken up by everyone on the Allegheny College campus when they agree to study or work here. According to the Title IX guidelines, every student and employee of Allegheny College, with the exception of a few members in certain roles, has a compulsory role to be an active bystander.

“All of our employees, apart from a few including counselors, are considered mandated reporters,” Title IX Coordinator Gillian Ford said. “If they hear about any kind of misconduct that violates or may violate the Title IX document, they must report it.”

Ford emphasized the importance of reporting incidents and insisted that all members of the Allegheny community play their part in this.

“There’s a reporting option on the Title IX webpage and you can even report an incident through MyAllegheny,” Ford said.

All reports go directly through Ford and a specific protocol of function exists to deal with reported incidents.

“Anytime I receive a report, the first thing I do is reach out to the person that is reported as being harmed, we call this person the complainant,” Ford said. “I try my best to offer the complainant a variety of supportive measures.”

Ford explained the process of bystander and awareness training that is required to all members of the Allegheny community, including students, staff, faculty and the National Collegiate Athletic Association requires all coaching staff and athletes to be trained.

“Typically, before getting to campus, incoming students complete a series of modules regarding sexual assault, consent, drug and alcohol use, and diversity and inclusion,” Ford said.

There has been a common misconception around the campus regarding the standing of Fiji in the Allegheny College community, according to Wolf. Allegheny College recognizes Pi Phi Gamma Delta as a chapter of Fiji on campus despite the fraternity not having a formally allotted fraternity house on campus.

“The Pi chapter remains in good standing with Allegheny College,” Wolf said. “Phi Gam was voted Allegheny College’s 2020 Fraternity of the Year and has consistently been above the all-men’s and all-fraternity GPA average, and continually outpaces the fraternity community service hours per chapter and per brother.”

Sexual assault and violence awareness is an important topic for clubs and Greek life on campus. Gray emphasized the importance of continued efforts regarding the problems prevalent in society and the role of Fraternity and Sorority Life in this.

“We are always looking at ways in which we can collaborate with more organizations on campus, such as Fraternity and Sorority Life, especially when a decent portion of students are affiliated with one of those organizations,” Gray said. “Many FSL organizations already focus on aspects of sexual assault awareness or domestic violence awareness and from my experience, they are a great group of organizations that are always willing to help out.”