UPUA To Host Sexual Violence Awareness Week
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and the UPUA, with the help of numerous other groups, has organized more than a dozen events to help promote sexual violence awareness at Penn State. The events include everything from Chipotle fundraisers for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, to the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” exercise. Additionally, the UPUA will be present at tables in the HUB all week to help raise awareness and answer questions.
Monday kicks the week off with a talk from Penn State graduate Jasmin Enriquez, the founder of Sexual Violence Awareness week and the non-profit organization “Only With Consent.” Enriquez will serve as the keynote speaker, focusing on the importance of consent, as well as her own experiences.
Tuesday will include a Chipotle fundraiser for the CCWRC, as well as a screening of the movie “The Mask You Live In,” hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Association. The movie will be shown in the HUB’s Freeman Auditorium, followed by a panel discussion about the movie and a look at some of the problems with the cultural norms of masculinity in America.
On Wednesday, CAPS and the Center for Women’s Studies will host a Bystander Intervention Seminar in West Halls’ Waring Commons. That seminar will teach students how to be active bystanders and how to break up a potentially dangerous situation. Wednesday also has a “Sexual Assault 101” seminar in the Freeman Auditorium, hosted by the CCWRC.
Thursday at noon is the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, co-hosted by the Center for Women’s Studies, Men Against Violence, the IFC, and Peers Helping Reaffirm, Educate, and Empower. The walk will go down Pollack road, with the participating men walking — as the name suggests — a mile in high heels to “raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects, and remediations to men’s sexualized violence against women,” according to the event’s site.
Finally, Triota, the Women’s Studies Honors Society, will host a mattress carry during the day, where students carry their mattresses around campus to show solidarity for those victimized by sexual violence. The idea comes from Columbia University, where one student carried her mattress around campus the day after she says she was a victim of sexual violence.
With events both varied and numerous planned for the week, Sexual Assault Awareness Month looks poised to start strong at Penn State in hopes of making tangible changes.