Canisius Holds Events in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Canisius Holds Events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
This week, the Counseling Center is collaborating with Step Up! Griffs Peer Educators, Debbie Owens, the Title IX Coordinator, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and USA Public Health to hold an event each day this week from the 18 to the 22.
On Monday Step Up! Griffs Peer Educators gave students the opportunity to sign a pledge to become an active bystander in the Student Center and Library. While they were doing this signing, they were doing a donut giveaway. According to Charita Price, one of the Counselors in the Counseling Center, she said this was to show that people can do more than just be a bystander to sexual assault which is very common. This was to provide peaceful ways for bystanders to intervene before a sexual assault can take place.
Tuesday was about a social media challenge known as Teal Tuesday where students were asked to wear teal and post it on Instagram with “#SAAM” and “@Canisius_Couns” for the chance to win a gift card. Price said that teal is used because it is the color of observance during Sexual Awareness Month.
There was a softball game held in the KAC sponsored by the SAAC to support sexual assault survivors. This has been done for years and is not about the competition, but more about spreading awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
In the library there were consent awareness activities with Debbie Owens, the Title IX coordinator where students could learn about consensual and non-consensual sexual activities on Thursday and participate in a chocolate giveaway. Price said, “Not only is non-consensual sexual activity a violation of your partner, it is also a crime.” after describing the activities.
On Friday there is another social media challenge known as Denim Day which is an international campaign designed to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month by having participants wear denim and post it to Instagram with “#SAAM” and “@Canisius_Couns” for the chance to win a gift card. Price said, “The reason to wear denim is to combat victim blaming” and added that more information can be found on the website denimdayinfo.org.
Megan Valery, the graduate assistant in the Counseling Center, sponsored and designed the events for this week. When asked how these events were selected for this week, she said:
“When I thought about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I wanted more than just one day or one event because the topic just deserves more than that. I thought a week of awareness with different themes would be a great way to show support and respect for the month. I wanted to collaborate with different offices and clubs on campus and I thought to start with SAAC, there is when we came up with a Sexual Assault Awareness game for the softball game. There were then a few other themes such as consent education and bystander intervention that we wanted to plan around. It is rather difficult making these serious topics into events that students would want to participate in and not feel intimidated so I wanted to make each day educational yet creative.”