June 24, 2016
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, 23.1 percent of female undergraduate students will experience sexual assault or rape within the time they are attending college. As a sorority chapter of 60+ young women, the Alpha Beta Chapter at the University of Illinois believed that the issue of sexual assault and rape hit close to home.
Women, ages 18-24, enrolled in college are three times as likely to be sexually assaulted than any other age bracket. The Alpha Beta Chapter wanted to take a stance against sexual assault and support survivors. Throughout the spring semester, chapter members participated in two activities to raise money for an Illinois program called R.A.C.E.S. and a third activity in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
R.A.C.E.S. (Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services) has provided a multitude of services for sexual assault survivors and supporters for over 40 years, including an emergency rape crisis hotline, free counseling, medical and legal advocacy, and specialized training and education for students and professionals. Covering four counties including Champaign County (where the University of Illinois is located), R.A.C.E.S. is crucial to the health and safety of both men and women not only enrolled in college but to other residents in the community.
With the State of Illinois’s recent budget crisis, R.A.C.E.S. fell short in support and expenditure, threatening the organization's existence due to dramatic staff and service cuts. Services that were available 24/7 dropped to being available only four days a week, and outreach was cut back to one county.
As part of the largest Greek system in the nation at University of Illinois, the Alpha Beta Chapter, with other organizations at the school, decided to make a difference and save R.A.C.E.S. On March 7, 2016 the sororities and fraternities of the University of Illinois put together a fundraiser through the showing of the critically-acclaimed documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” which inspired the It’s On Us campaign.
Despite free admission to the event, a significant portion of the audience donated to the foundation. "Our sorority had the highest attendance out of all fraternities and sororities at the showing," said Miracle Barnes, LAMP Editor. "We demonstrated to campus leadership and made a statement that we fully support R.A.C.E.S. and the survivors they benefit. To further our proceeds to R.A.C.E.S., the Alpha Beta Chapter, in partnership with Chi Psi Fraternity, held a fundraiser at the Union Bowling Alley for R.A.C.E.S. Lastly, all members were encouraged to walk in the Stride for Survivors. Presented by the Interfraternity Council, PanHellenic Council, and the United Greek Council at University of Illinois, Stride for Survivors was created as the first annual solidarity walk to end sexual violence and support survivors on the University of Illinois campus."
On April 15, 2016, more than 60 members of the Alpha Beta Chapter attended the walk and demonstrated the chapter's love and concern for not only its members, but for all of those affected by sexual assault.
Alpha Beta, University of Illinois
About Alpha Beta Chapter
Alpha Beta was founded on April 23, 1921 at University of Illinois in Urbana, IL. We've been around 95 years and going strong!
Our chapter is a part of Delta Zeta Region 16. We currently have a total of 174 members in our chapter and our average GPA is 3.33! For the academic year Fall 2016 through Spring 2017 our chapter has donated 8353 service hours and $26,000!
June 24, 2016