PUGS shows tough love with ‘Hunting Ground’

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Pacific University Greek Senate and Campus Wellness hosted a movie screening of the Hunting Grounds, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses and administrative efforts to hide it, Sept. 25.

The screening was originally planned to be the conclusion of fall rush, but morphed into a campus-wide event about university transparency around sexual assault when pledging was rescinded.

PUGS Vice President of Recruitment junior Tyler Wiprud said he originally heard of the documentary through a Greek leadership conference he attended and thought it would be a powerful message to put out there considering the negative media attention national fraternities are getting around sexual assault.

“I thought this would be a good way to raise awareness and for our senate to take a stand against,” Wiprud said. “I’m hoping that people who aren’t involved in Greek Life will see that we as an organization don’t stand for this kind of behavior at all and we want to help in any way we can.”

The documentary focused on large public universities and recounted personal stories about students being assaulted and going to the administration for support or to report. The film documented that, rather than supporting, universities resorted to victim shaming to scare individuals into not reporting and protecting their reputation in the process.

The proven stories of victim abuse stretched as close as the University of Oregon.

“It was shocking and sickening to hear that a school would be so unsupportive of victims,” senior Isabella Barcelona said. “I knew it was a problem but I had no idea the extent.”

The event was hosted in conjunction with campus wellness coordinator Kathleen Converse and the counseling center and was aimed at raising awareness and stressing that the staff at Pacific is focused on student’s well being more than anything else.

Following the film, Converse and two representatives from the counseling center held a question and answer section centered on how Pacific specifically handles sexual assault.

Director of the counseling center Robin Keillor said the university has expelled a student in the last year in response to a sexual misconduct case.

Keillor and Converse advocated that they are concerned first and foremost with student’s well-being and were hired specifically to make sure the university was handling misconduct cases appropriately.

“Hearing them say that was completely wonderful,” Barcelona said. “I really trust that they will fight for the students even if the school doesn’t want them to and that makes me feel safe.”

Wiprud said to the best of his knowledge the university is forthcoming and fair in dealing with sexual misconduct.

But he would like to see more of a public stance from the administration

Wiprud said he wants the film to be shown bi-annually at the end of each rush period and shown to non-Greek groups as an educational tool.

For anyone who missed the film, PUGS will be showing it again in the spring and it will be open to all groups


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