Get to know a club is a column where students can read about the different clubs on campus and what they do.
Meet the Student Alliance for Violence Education, a student organization at TU that started in 2015 with a greater mission of using their platform for advocacy. Ahead of their first semester as president of SAVE, Myia Polk and Senior Advisor Brittany Banh explain what the organization does and what it stands for.
The group’s mission statement is to “create a safe space on The University of Tulsa’s campus to provide support [and build safe spaces] for all survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and violence” as well as “have difficult and educational conversations about sexual violence, sexual health, and healthy relationships,” according to Polk. SAVE’s mission statement is why Polk believes more students should join or get involved with SAVE. “All students on campus are at risk of experiencing violence and should have access to resources and people who can help them navigate through that violence,” Polk states. The organization’s end goal is to build a community of students who care about the safety of others, which can give a sense of feeling safe and seen on campus.
SAVE does an excellent job coordinating and collaborating with other organizations. During Banh’s time as SAVE president, Polk served as the group’s outreach coordinator. Polk was in charge of reaching out and collaborating with other organizations such as Domestic Violence Intervention Services and TU’s Associate of Black Collegians to educate campus about violence. Polk credits their work as an outreach coordinator for helping them prepare to become the president of SAVE. Polk says they want “a more inclusive approach when discussing violence on campus” and plans to continue this approach during their presidency.
When asked how students could get involved with SAVE, Polk said doing so is easy. The number one way to get involved is to show up at events. “Whether you volunteer or just have a conversation with the board members during the events, SAVE makes space for anyone interested to be a part!”
Other notable executive members that you might meet at a SAVE event include Vice President Tonia Johnson, Secretary Anabel Anderson, Treasurer Sophia Zoellner, PR Director Sydney Bennett, Organization Outreach Board Member Issy Harris, Freshman Liaison Jules Yang and Senior Advisors Isabel Mireles, Bailey Wollmershauser and Jocelyn Berry. Students can stay updated on SAVE’s upcoming events by following the group on Instagram @utulsa_save.
SAVE is hosting a couple events this month. One of these events is the “Breaking Ground Monologues,” a student-led play featuring a set of monologues about important topics such as gender, sexuality and intimate partner violence. Auditions have already passed; however, students are encouraged to watch the performance on Feb. 23 and 24.
Banh explained that these monologues have a history to them. “Breaking Ground Monologues” started as “The Vagina Monologues,” written by a woman named Eve Ensler in 1996. The name was changed to promote gender inclusivity in the submitted monologues. “With the name change,” Banh states, “we are better able to call for original student-written pieces to allow for a more intersectional look at gender and sexuality.”
The second event they will be hosting is SAVE Week, the alliance’s week of fundraising for DVIS and promoting civic awareness of sexual violence on campus and in the Tulsa community. During a week in February, SAVE hands out educational packs to students in the Student Union, which highlight resources for sexual violence prevention and intervention as well as sexual health information in the overall Tulsa community. These packs contain items such as condoms to promote safe sex and sexual health well-being.