Photo by Matthew Hembree
By Tess Steele and Laura Katherine Crum (C’17)
The Sisters of Phi Kappa Epsilon (PKE) recently collaborated with other Greek organizations and local businesses to raise awareness about sexual assault and fundraise for the Chattanooga Rape Crisis Center by selling keychain bottle openers. The keychains include the phrase, “Pop the Question. Get Consent” to encourage smart, safe decisions, especially before the festivities of Spring Party Weekend.
“Greek organizations are commonly viewed as institutions that perpetuate collegiate rape culture. PKE is working to dismantle that stereotype through the key chain initiative as well as through our actions and influence on campus,” shared PKE member Helen Pfaff (C’18) on the sorority’s fundraising efforts.
The Chattanooga Rape Crisis Center provides confidential and free treatment to any victims of rape and sexual assault. The facility is the closest rape center to Sewanee, extending their medical, legal, and educational services to the Sewanee area.
PKE wanted the keychains to express the importance of making Sewanee a campus that is both inclusive and respectful. Through promoting safe, consensual sex, PKE hopes to emphasize female-led efforts to encourage meaningful discussions and honorable behavior among students in and out of the classroom, while also supporting local organizations that embody these ideals.
The bottle openers were sold to Greek organizations, then distributed to members. Considering the prevalence of Greek life at Sewanee, this was an efficient means to successfully spread the message of consent. Using an item as popular as bottle openers was a different approach to disseminate the message of consent, and the sorority hopes that the bottle openers will be an effective tool to encourage honorable behavior.
The efforts were supported through donations from the Sewanee Market, Village Wine & Spirits, Monteagle Wine & Spirits, Sam’s Travel Center, Lucifer’s Liquors, Alpha Delta Theta, Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Tau Zeta, Gamma Tau Upsilon, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Delta, Kappa Omega, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Society of 1883, Sigma Nu, Theta Kappa Phi, and Theta Pi.