In an effort to bring awareness to sexual assault, the Pi Kappa
Alpha fraternity spent all day Thursday on the Lory Student Center
Plaza handing out whistles and fliers to inform both women and men
about the alarming rates of sexual assault.
“We didn’t see anybody on campus taking that role,” said Shane
Ferraro, public relations chairman for Pi Kappa Alpha.
With the recent problems involving the University of
Colorado-Boulder, Ferraro said it was a good time to bring
Along with the whistles and fliers, the fraternity also had
several speakers, including Mayor Ray Martinez, speak about the
problem of sexual assault and violence.
“We know friends. We have friends who have been victims of
sexual assault,” he said.
In Colorado alone, one in four women and one in seventeen men
were victims of sexual assault in 2002, Martinez said.
Being in a preventive mode can help stop the problem of sexual
Locking doors and closing windows are just some of the actions
that will protect victims from attackers, Martinez said.
While these measures will help against attackers who are
strangers, two-thirds of the sexual assault cases in 2002 for the
state of Colorado were done by an acquaintance.
“We don’t need it. We have to get rid of it,” Martinez said.
Martinez said one of the main causes of the high rates stems
from the potential victims’ belief that it cannot happen to
“It can happen to anyone at any age,” Martinez said.
In closing, Martinez proclaimed April to be Sexual Assault
Awareness Month for the City of Fort Collins.
Jody Jessup, assistant director for the Office of Women’s
Programs and Studies, said the event was helpful in bringing
“Whistles won’t end sexual assault, but awareness will,” Jessup
Recognizing that there is problem is the first step in
eradicating, Jessup said.
Also involved with the event was martial artist Jake Hatten, who
teaches a self-defense class to women and men that teaches them how
to get out of a situation when an attacker strikes.
He showed a move to the crowd in which he demonstrated the
simple act of not pushing against an attacker’s fingers and being
able to escape. He said it is better to push against an attacker’s
thumbs because there is more strength in the fingers.
“As men we have a responsibility to educate other men,” said
Mark Travella, alumni-relations chairman for Pi Kappa Alapha.
Travella said he and other members of the fraternity were
receiving a positive response from many of the women who were on
the Plaza and that the event was important to the community.