Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) is proud to announce that the innovative Safe Smart Dating program has been awarded a Laurel Wreath Award by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
The Laurel Wreath Award is presented to individuals or groups in recognition of their unique programs, community outreach or influence within the fraternal world. The NIC awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates April 6-7, 2014, in Atlanta, Ga.
Safe Smart Dating, developed by Jewish Women International (JWI) and co-sponsored with Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), is an interactive educational program designed to explore gender norms, define healthy relationships and to train participants on how to be active bystanders. It is the first national program for Greek collegiate communities to explore dating abuse and sexual assault.
“Safe Smart Dating is an incredible program for collegians and we’re honored that the NIC has selected it for the Laurel Wreath Award,” said Debbie Snyder, executive director of SDT. “The young women and men who have attended the program address dating and sexual abuse issues, while participating in open conversations, and leave feeling empowered to do what’s right for themselves and others.”
Safe Smart Dating was piloted by SDT and ZBT at three universities during this academic year: University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University and Purdue University. It is now being prepared for several universities in the 2014-15 academic year.
JWI’s Executive Director, Lori Weinstein explained, “Nationally, more than one in five college women experience physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence from a dating partner. This is an unqualified epidemic that can only be mitigated by training and education, honest conversation, bystander intervention and voices of partnership between women and men. We are so proud of this collaboration and we applaud SDT and ZBT for stepping up and serving as a catalyst for these essential conversations. And we are truly honored that the NIC has awarded Safe Smart Dating the Laurel Wreath.”
“ZBT is fortunate to have forward-thinking partners like SDT and JWI to work with through this program,” said Laurence A. Bolotin, executive director for ZBT. “The topic of healthy relationships is vital on every campus and this program will assist the collegians in understanding how to be an ally in relationships. We hope that this honor from the NIC is just the beginning to a long and effective program.”
ZBT will accept the Laurel Wreath Award at the NIC’s Annual Meeting luncheon on Sunday, April 6, 2014.