Since their official colonization at Kenyon last year, the brothers of Phi Kappa Tau have been working hard to make a positive difference both on and off campus. The fraternity’s national website states that their mission as an organization is “to be recognized as a leadership organization that binds men together and challenges them to improve their campuses and the world.” Last year, this goal manifested in the form of thousands of dollars raised for Relay for Life and many volunteer hours put towards helping charities in the greater Gambier area. Recently, the brothers have sought to extend this mission to include taking action to address the controversy surrounding Take Back the Night.
“I never saw this coming from the student body here,” says Peter Granville ’16, current president of the Kenyon chapter. “People’s relationships with Kenyon will be indelibly altered unless the campus responds in a big, lasting way. We, as a college, have to show that we can self-reflect and find out how to teach one another how to help one another.”
In response to comments regarding Crozier and TBTN, Granville and his fellow brothers, along with the Sexual Misconduct Advisors, were approached by the TBTN committee and asked to host a men’s discussion which will focus on “what it means to be a man in college and all the relationships that come with it,” as Granville says. He explains further:
We can’t expect community betterment to sprout from intimidating each other. In closed groups, it’s important to resist the peer pressure not to report sexual misconduct. Kei [Helm ’16, a Sexual Misconduct Advisor] and I would like to stress that bystander intervention and open discussion are key to community improvement. Any man or woman who is in a position to speak out against sexual misconduct (before, while, or after it happens) should not feel pressured into silence, but should instead know that he or she will be part of a powerful majority of people who want sexual misconduct cut out.
The Phi Tau’s discussion has already garnered national attention and is well-supported by colonies at other institutions across the country. Though the discussion poster specifically mentions greek life and athletics, the discussion will be open-ended and, as such, all men are welcome to participate. “There are many men who want to see masculinity respectfully reevaluated and, if possible, positively redefined,” Granville says.
The discussion will be held at 7 P.M. tonight at Weaver Cottage and will be led by both Phi Kappa Tau and the SMAs. Patrick Gilligan and Sam Filkins will join in on the discussion as well. For more information, please visit the Phi Kappa Tau Kenyon chapter’s Facebook page.