Cougs against violence

BY LANCE LIJEWSKI | Evergreen reporter

In an effort to campaign against domestic violence, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Delta Gamma sorority decorated Linden Street this past weekend with a string of awareness raising poster boards hung between each respective house.

“Hitters are quitters,” “You can always say no,” “Cougs stand together,” and “Stop domestic violence” were a few of the slogans plastered on the multi-colored display.

Junior Delta Gamma member Shelby Grant organized the spectacle with the assistance of Geoff Waller, Alpha Tau Omega member and Interfraternity Council director of policy and procedure.

The two had similar desires to make the community more aware of domestic violence. A series of current events brought their pursuits together.

“I was trying to get it done through IFC but it was tabled,” Waller said.

He took it back to his chapter and attempted to rally support. Waller suggested partnering with a sorority like Delta Gamma. The fraternity was on board.

Grant took notice of NFL quarterback Russell Wilson’s recent “Why Not You?” campaign against domestic violence and began discussing with her boyfriend, Jonah Friedl, ways to support.

Friedl, also a member of Alpha Tau Omega, brought this to Waller’s attention. Waller and Grant teamed up immediately and began to take action.

“It was really random,” Grant said. “It was really informal.”

Once a plan was made, Grant took the idea to Delta Gamma president Hannah Goehri for approval.

Knowing that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and being aware of Wilson’s campaign, Goehri thought it was an appropriate time for the sorority to do some sort of event themselves.

“I was more than happy to support,” Goehri said. “It was not huge but it had a big impact.”

Goehri heard positive feedback after the event and even received a personal email from a Health and Wellness representative thanking the sorority for their efforts. Waller also heard positive remarks from fraternity brothers.

“It was in casual conversation,” he said. “I heard people talking about how it was stupid we didn’t do something like this earlier.”

The event culminated with Russell Wilson taking notice on Twitter and retweeting three of Grant’s photos shared on her personal feed. 

For Grant, this is one small step towards getting the ball rolling into something bigger than just poster boards and slogans.

“I’m a victim of domestic violence from my childhood,” she said. “This is something that is close to my heart.”

It’s become a personal mission of Grant’s to take her experiences and help individuals who have gone through similar struggles.

She said that domestic violence victims may choose not to talk about their own experiences because they are afraid it might happen again. It is Grant’s desire to help others feel safe and secure.

“It’s been nice finding a positive light through really negative situations,” she said.

Grant wants the entire community to get involved, both Greeks and other campus organizations.

“Once you have people talking about prevalent issues, it’s easy to get people on board,” she said. “If we can do that on Greek Row in four days, we can do something bigger.”