By Samantha Caruso
Greek students gathered on the Fraternity Row fields May 5 to attend “Kicking Out Sexual Assault,” a bubble soccer tournament that featured speakers
The event, hosted by Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Chi Omega, was created to bring awareness to the movement to end sexual violence and to raise money for Jewish Women International, a Jewish women’s advocacy organization.
The tournament lasted five rounds, with teams of five facing off in a game of soccer with a twist: participants played inside giant beach ball-shaped donuts called “bubbles.”
Julia Hall, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, played for her sorority’s team and was surprised by how much fun she had.
“I was a little nervous at first because my friends were all running into each other and flying off of each other so I was like, ‘oh my god I’m going to die,’” Hall said. “But it was actually really fun! And sweaty. It gets super hot in there.”
Carly Buckner, a sophomore marketing and operations management and business analytics double major, enjoyed watching her friends play inside the bubbles.
“Watching my sisters bounce around and flail around was totally the best part,” she said.
Buckner explained the importance of the event to her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.
“This event is personally important to Alpha Chi Omega because our philanthropy is domestic violence awareness, which sometimes goes together with sexual assault prevention. We put out as a sorority that we care about this issue, so it was nice that Zeta Beta Tau asked us to co-sponsor this event with them.”
Adam Dreyfus, a sophomore economics major and co-vice president of philanthropy for ZBT, was excited to raise money for JWI.
“It’s a really good cause,” Dreyfus said. “JWI is an organization that creates programs for college students to promote sexual assault awareness, so I’m happy we had such a good turnout and are able to give them some money.”
The event also featured two speakers: Ian Tolino, a program educator for the CARE to Stop Violence office at the University of Maryland, and Ariella Neckritz, a prevention programs manager for JWI.
“Today I am here to represent our office and be an ally for the audience and to be a resource for students,” said Tolino. “I’m here to show that, as a University of Maryland employee, as an entity, we care about this issue, and it’s good to see an event like this, and it’s great to partner with students that actually care.”
He described the purpose of CARE to Stop Violence.
“CARE stands for Campus Advocates Respond and Educate to Stop Violence,” Tolino explained. “There’s two sides of our office. There’s the education side, where we talk about preventing sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking. And then we talk about how to be a positive bystander through our Bystander Intervention programming. Then there’s the advocacy side, so we actually service clients who need some of the services that we have.”
Neckritz said she appreciated the efforts of ZBT and Alpha Chi Omega and loved that preventing sexual assault is getting the attention it deserves in the Greek community.
“I am constantly amazed by how Greek chapters are saying that this is an issue that matters to them and really want to raise money to do prevention work and show that they’re committed to, you know, building positive supportive communities,” Neckritz said. “They want to address these issues and show that they support survivors. I’m really proud of the ZBT and AXO chapters for coming up with this concept and working together to create an event where people can talk about these issues.”
Featured photo courtesy of Molly Hersch