Student Alliance for Violence Education (SAVE) collaborated with Advocacy Alliance to present a week of speakers and activities intended to address the topic of sexual violence on college campuses.
Whitney Cipolla, president of SAVE, said that this is the organization’s first year sponsoring an entire week of activities. However, she mentioned that “the Advocacy Alliance has sponsored a speaker from We End Violence before, and this will be SAVE’s second year in a row sponsoring a production of ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ and our third year distributing free candy bars.”
Consent Week kicked off last Friday and Saturday with sold-out productions of “The Vagina Monologues,” and continues this Monday, Feb. 13 with a “lunch and learn” about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships led by Anne Sheaff.
Cipolla emphasized that the lunch and learn “is a great opportunity because [Sheaff] is a professor for the Oxley College of Health Sciences and actually offers a self defense class, and will be speaking about different warning signs to look out for that might lead to a dangerous situation.” “This event and the whole week is really about educating and empowering students.”
There will be events in the Student Union on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday’s event involves passing out candy bars with facts, statistics and resources related to violence and sexual assault, and Wednesday will feature a photo booth.
On Thursday, activist and public speaker Jeff Bucholtz from We End Violence will speak on ending violence on college campuses. “The focus of this organization is engaging entire communities to be proactive and responsive to acts of violence and sexual assault,” Cipolla said.
This event will be followed up on Friday by a lunch provided by Advocacy Alliance where student leaders are invited to discuss on-campus violence with Thursday’s speaker.
Cipolla says that Consent Week is primarily important because ending sexual violence is a team effort.
“It is going to take a collective effort from different colleges, departments, faculty, administrators, staff, and students coming together to greatly reduce and end violence on our campus, and this week is really about inspiring action from everyone.”
“If SAVE can help educate people and start a dialogue about sexual assaults on college campuses, that will show that TU as an institution is actively supporting survivors of sexual assault, starting initwiatives to better inform students, and working to make our campus community as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible,” she explained.
Cipolla emphasized that SAVE intends for Consent Week to have a tangible effect on campus.
“Awareness and education matter,” she said. “Talking about issues that are usually swept under the rug matters. If these events can teach one person something, or make a survivor of sexual assault feel supported, then all of the programming efforts will be worth it.”