U of L deratifies Greek Life organizations after report finds a culture of sexual violence

LETHBRIDGE – The Students’ Union at the University of Lethbridge has deratified its Greek Life organizations, two sororities, and a fraternity after an independent review found there was a culture of sexual violence.

The ULSU and the University of Lethbridge had growing concerns about the issue and hired a third-party HR firm to investigate.

According to an FAQ posted to its website, the ULSU says the report ” indicated a culture of sexual violence within Greek Life on campus.”

The report will not be shared publicly in order to protect those who took part in the investigation.

However, unless a formal complaint is filed with the University of Lethbridge per its sexual violence policy, no more investigation into the matter can be done.

“Representatives of the ULSU and most members of the joint committee have no knowledge of the names of individuals who participated, and also do not have the power, jurisdiction, or right to request that any students be formally investigated unless there is a formal complaint filed with the University per the sexual violence policy,” the site reads.

“It is an individual choice to come forward, as well as a choice to ask for action, we cannot and will not ask any survivors or members of Greek Life to provide names of perpetrators, as we will be respecting the autonomy of survivors at all times. As well, the investigation was not conducted to investigate specific complaints, but rather to investigate the overall culture of sexual misconduct and harassment among the organizations, and the decision to de-ratify was made with the intention of giving the space for holistic and substantial change.”

The ULSU says the joint committee that ordered the report discussed the possibility of having the Lethbridge Police Service involved however it opted to instead hire a third-party human resources investigator with experience specifically with sexual violence and post-secondary.

The Lethbridge Police Service says it has not received any recent reports of sexual violence connected with the University of Lethbridge or its students.

The USLU adds it will be working with the clubs to develop policy and procedures around sexual violence “while striving to ensure that re-ratification is possible in the future.”

Kristine Cassie, CEO of the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre in Lethbridge, is glad the review was ordered because it means the school takes the issue of sexual violence seriously.

“With this information being out there, there is great opportunity then for widespread training around rape myths, victim-blaming, and the rights of people to be in consenting and healthy relationships and how they could possibly address that throughout the University and the culture of the University,” Cassie said.

She stresses to anyone who has been victimized that they are not alone.

“This didn’t just happen to one person or to two people, there’s probably quite a few people and there are services available if they chose to reach out.”

You can find more resources from the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre here.

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