Yale’s chapter of the Zeta Psi fraternity will host a fundraiser at Box 63 on Friday, Feb. 22 in support of the Center for Family Justice, a local charity working to help women and children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence.
The event, which is the fraternity’s first independent philanthropic endeavor, comes after months of collaborative work between the center and the fraternity’s brothers. Proceeds from the event will help the charity’s initiatives to support the women and children living at the center and to educate the community on the issue of sexual assault. Sam Tuckerman ’20, the fraternity brother in charge of the partnership, said that he hopes the event will not only benefit the charity, but also help their community work toward ending sexual violence.
“We realize that there’s this toxic problem of domestic violence and sexual abuse on campus and other college campuses across the country,” Tuckerman said. “So we thought how can we, as a fraternity, help to look for a solution and not contribute to the problem. We thought this could be a really great way to promote the fact that we care about this issue and want to be a part of the solution, as well as also just to give back to a local charity.”
The Center for Family Justice aims to break the cycle of domestic, sexual and child abuse and violence by providing services that “create hope, restore lives and drive social change through education and community collaboration,” according to their website. Through providing services like a 24-hour crisis hotline, mental health counseling and a safe home, among others, the center supports women and children in six Connecticut towns — Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.
The center also sponsors a white ribbon campaign to engage men in the process of personal, relational and social change necessary to end violence against women, according to their website. Tuckerman added that the Zeta Psi brothers will participate in the campaign by tying white ribbons on their wrists, backpacks and water bottles to promote gender equity, healthy relationships and positive ideals of masculinity.
The fraternity has also implemented other measures in order to promote a healthier campus party and sexual culture. Social chair for the fraternity and a Communication and Consent Educator Tosan Agbeyegbe ’20 said that the fraternity takes consent education “very seriously” and that their incoming pledges will receive a round of training.
“We’re going to hold a workshop not only teaching them how to run a safe party, but also things to look out for,” Agbeyegbe said. “We’re educating them so they can go out of our fraternity setting and into the campus setting because, at the end of the day, we want to make better people, not just better party spaces.”
Last semester, the fraternity implemented new initiatives to make their parties safer and more inclusive for Yalies. After soliciting feedback on how to improve their spaces through various Yale Facebook groups, Tuckerman said that the fraternity added water stations in their basement and started designating “sober brothers” to oversee the safety of their parties.
Agbeyegbe added that he hopes Zeta Psi’s new initiatives will spark change across all of Yale’s campus to make everyone feel included and safe in the party scene.
“If all frats get better — if all party spaces at Yale get better — then everyone can be more inclusive and safer,” Agbeyegbe said. “It’s not a competition. We want everyone to feel safe on Yale’s campus, that’s just the way it should be.”
Box 63 is located at 338 Elm St.
Audrey Steinkamp | firstname.lastname@example.org