Greek life channels inner-children. Here’s why it matters.

By: Meghan Hudson, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Meghan Hudson/ The Towerlight

On Friday, March 29, Zeta Beta Tau hosted it’s major philanthropic event, Green Light Go, on Burdick Field. Dozens of students showed up, despite the rainy weather, to participate in this year’s event.

ZBT founder Bryce Anderson and Meredith Jacobs of Jewish Women International (JWI) co-created Green Light Go. Since 2014, JWI has been ZBT’s major philanthropy. The purpose of the event is to spread awareness about the importance of consent via a symbolic game of green light go, as well as about topics such as sexual harassment and bystander intervention.

All proceeds were donated to JWI, specifically towards their National Library Initiative. The National Library Initiative is a program created to build libraries in domestic violence shelters. The program focuses on giving children involved in domestic violence a safe place to read, do homework and have fun.

“We have about 78 [libraries] nationwide, and when the children come in, we offer for them to take a book with them as they leave,” Jacobs said. “This event’s initiative is to restock the shelves and make sure we have enough books available for these children in these shelters.”

This year’s event introduced a series of activities for participants to complete before being granted access onto the field.

“The tabling enhanced the purpose of Green Light Go, which is to combat sexual assault, promote healthy relationships and learn about bystander intervention” said ZBT Philanthropy Chair Dylan Hubbs. “The tables gave participants an opportunity to participate in activities that challenged them to understand the most productive ways to intervene in potentially harmful situations.”

“The hope is that they are walking away learning about consent, learning about bystander intervention, learning about supporting survivors, but doing it in an interactive and engaging way,” said Ariella Neckritz, Manager of Prevention Programs at JWI.

Jacobs was excited about the additional learning opportunities the tabling offered.

“It starts that conversation around consent,” Jacobs said. “It says a lot that this a fraternity supporting a progressive women’s organization. It’s really remarkable, and I’m so proud that they’re stepping up in this way and flipping the stereotype of what it means to be a fraternity.”

Hubbs believes that it is vital for all Greek Life organizations to promote bystander intervention.

“The more awareness we have across campus, the safer it can be for everyone,” Hubbs said.

JWI offers many opportunities for students to get involved.

“We are always looking for interns, and every year we do a Young Women’s Advocacy Day, and host many workshops,” Jacobs said. “Of course you can also make a donation to support our work because we really work for all women.”

Neckritz shared how anyone and everyone can get involved.

“Anyone can be an advocate around this issue,”  Neckritz said. “You don’t have to have to have personally been impacted by sexual assault or dating abuse; anyone can stand up and say violence isn’t okay and that’s not something that I want in my community. You don’t have to be an expert to say ‘I want support and respect and I want the people around me to be treated with dignity and respect.’ Really, this is an issue everyone should get behind.”

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