Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Text of FSPAC Email to Congressional Visit Participants

The following is the text of an email message sent from Jen Kilian from the North American Interfraternity Conference to students selected to participate in the 2015 Fraternity and Sorority Congressional Visits.


Congratulations! You have been selected to participate as a student lobbyist for the upcoming 2015 Fraternity and Sorority Congressional Visits. Your sorority or fraternity will sponsor your participation in this event, which will take place April 26th –April 30th in Washington, DC.

While in Washington, you will participate in a day and a half of training sessions on Monday, April 27th and Tuesday, April 28th leading up to our day of meetings on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress and their staff on Wednesday, April 29th. The Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) will also host a dinner on Wednesday night where we expect numerous Members of Congress to be in attendance.  It is possible/likely your national organization may be paying for you to attend that fundraising dinner.

You MUST be able to arrive in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 26th (training begins on the morning of April 27) and depart Thursday, April 30th.  Failure to meet this requirement disqualifies you from participating. We need to know as soon as possible whether or not you can attend so we can choose another student in your place if you are unavailable. Please send an email confirming your participation or declining your participation by Friday, January 23.  The confirmation/decline email should be sent to Samantha Martin at samantha.martin@squirepb.com.

As a participant, you will be asked to engage in various activities in preparation for your time in DC, such as garnering support for legislation that impacts student housing and college affordability by getting letters of support from your university leaders and working with your student government organizations. In addition, you also may be asked to advocate on several Title IX and campus sexual assault legislative priorities outlined below. It is imperative that you read the legislative priorities below.  If you do not feel comfortable lobbying on these issues or cannot support the positions being taken, you should not participate in this event.   If you are not comfortable with the positions and issues discussed below or have any questions about the priorities, please email Kevin O’Neill at kevin.oneill@squirepb.com as soon as possible.

Furthermore, you will need to spend at least several hours prior to the visits preparing and reading over materials provided for you on the issues that you will lobby on once in Washington.  We are likely to have a training webinar in February/March that you will be expected to participate in live or on tape.   The time commitment for these efforts is minimal but vital to your success. Once you have registered, you will receive additional information on these activities.

In order to confirm your participation you must register via this link by 5:00pm on Friday, January 30th: 2015 Capital Hill Student Registration<https://nicindy.wufoo.com/forms/z1q7wsxf1tej8yw/>

*Please note: You should not attempt to register until you hear from your contact representative from your organization. They will provide you guidance on payment and reserving your hotel room.

Once again, congratulations and we look forward to seeing you in April!

Jen Kilian

In addition to efforts to pass the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act, students and alumni participating in the Greek Hill visits will be lobbying on the unified position fraternities and sororities have adapted on Title IX issues.  A summary of those issues and positions is outlined below.

1.       Preservation of single-sex exemption and protection of Title IX rights by challenging any mandate aimed at requiring social fraternities and sororities to become co-ed.

2.       Ensure federal laws and regulations are supportive of and response to the following:

a.       Development of reliable, extant data on the level of occurrence of sexual assault on American college and university campuses;

b.      Education and prevention programs focused on healthy relationships, dispelling rape myths, how to report occurrences of sexual assault and bystander intervention training;

c.       Appropriate institutional care, support and guidance for any student who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual assault;

d.      Respect for the constitutional and human rights to due process owed to every student;

e.      Handling by the criminal justice system of the serious crime of sexual assault that occurs on campus and/or involves students.

f.        Deferral of any campus judicial proceeding until completion of criminal adjudication (investigation and trial).

g.       In order to provide justice to all parties involved in campus judicial proceedings for alleged sexual assault

  i.      The roles of counselor to the alleged victim, investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and appealing body must be split into distinct positions

 ii.      The rights to counsel, to confront witnesses and the accuser in an appropriate manner that is safe for all parties, to have timely access to charges and all evidence, the prohibition of hearsay and protection from double jeopardy are fundamental.

  iii.      A standard of evidence determined by the institution.

3.       Prevention of alumnae/alumni volunteers from becoming unduly burdened by the imposition of significant new legal requirements in order to serve as a volunteer.

4.       Constrain the inappropriate use of system-wide suspensions.


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