In the first annual Rock Against Rape, the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon look to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault on college campuses. A major issue on campuses across the country, the brothers teamed up with the national group “Men Can Stop Rape” and formed an awareness group of their own, B.E.A.R., “Brothers Engaged Against Rape.”
Through booking the talent of the Maine Steiners, Seeking Homer, Warmfront, and The Green Bikes, the Balanced Men of SigEp hope “to draw a large crowd of people who don’t usually think of the issues,” said B.E.A.R. director and Rock Against Rape organizer, Peter Pike.
Brothers say the aim of the free concert is to attract students of all backgrounds, and to serve as an educational event – with information and guest speakers on hand.
The Steiners take the stage at 6 p.m., followed by the Green Bikes, Warmfront and finally Seeking Homer to begin at 9:30 p.m. The event, which also includes a free barbecue, is scheduled to be held on the back lawn of the SigEp house this Saturday night. Between sets guest speakers from Spruce Run Rape Response Services and the Safe Campus Project will have the opportunity to address the crowd. It is here that B.E.A.R. hopes the audience will focus their attention to the seriousness of rape and sexual assault and its presence here in Maine.
Warmfront drummer Adam Parvanta supports the awareness cause and says it is “fantastic that SigEp put so much work into putting on an event of this caliber.”
The band was approached to play at the event and decided to support the brothers, the cause and according to Parvanta, felt flattered for the chance to play with other talented musicians.
B.E.A.R. was founded at the University of Maine in the fall of 2001, with the members helping at Take Back the Night and Sexual Awareness Week, both held in April 2002. With the brothers of SigEp raising over $6,000 for this event, fraternity president Matthew Rodrigue believes everyone will see that “SigEp is demolishing the ‘frat boy’ stereotype.”
The future progress of B.E.A.R. is yet to be determined, but it is Pike’s hope that it will become part of the entire campus’ InterFraternity Council. That being the case, the IFC would then be able to expand B.E.A.R. and give each of the 13 fraternities on campus a chance to be a part of it.