Penn State Sigmas to co-host series of speakers
Sexual assault, alcohol abuse and hazing — no topic is too uncomfortable for the greek community to discuss in the four-part “Masterpiece Speakers Series.”
Personal behavior and responsibility, sexual assault, alcohol education, ethics and hazing are the topics of discussion for the four educational events, which begin tonight.
Presenters for the events, who are scheduled to speak throughout the fall semester, include representatives from the University Park Police Department, University Health Services, the Center for Women Students and the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs.
Beta Theta Pi Risk Management chairmen began planning the “Masterpiece Speakers Series” at the end of the summer and David Adewumi said the responses they have received have been positive.
The series derives its name from the idea to make each day a “masterpiece,” Adewumi (senior-Spanish) said. One decision can have negative consequences on the rest of a life, he said. But, he added, the series will focus instead on the flip side — how positive decisions can be beneficial.
The series aims to take a proactive approach on important issues to the greek community, Adewumi said. The focus will be placed more on education than on a “policing” angle.
“It’s definitely our goal to be active leaders and role models and active leaders on campus,” Adewumi said.
Sigma Nu fraternity, Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Zeta Psi fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Inc. fraternity are all partners with the series. Members of the greek organizations said they are proud to be a part of the event.
The series covers topics that are crucial for greek community members to be aware of, Sigma Nu President Blake Bonnewell said. Though some of the topics have stigmas that often make discussion difficult, the series will circumvent that and allow fraternity members to become more aware of risk-related issues, he added.
“They can be [uncomfortable], but they don’t have to be and that’s something that this series is talking about,” Bonnewell (senior-mechanical engineering) said.
The series will kick off 5 tonight at Beta Theta Pi, 220 N. Burrowes Rd., with University Park Police Director Steve Shelow and Officer Rebecca Bywater’s presentation on personal behavior and responsibility. The other presentations — which Adewumi said include more than just being “talked at” — will occur on Sept. 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 10. The event is open to the community, but Adewumi said they only anticipate about 100 members of the five partner organizations being in attendance.
Adewumi said if successful, the series will expand in the spring.