The Women’s Resource Center, Title IX and Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness (SARA) are painting the walls between Pray-Harrold and the REC/IM to bring awareness to sexual assault on Eastern Michigan University’s campus. The event takes place April 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with paint and supplies being provided. All students are welcome to attend.
The event was first originated by members of SARA last year. After a successful turnout, the organization found it would be beneficial to have it again.
Read more: EMU students protest in response to lawsuit accusing EMU officials of ignoring sexual assault claims
“Last year we had the president of EMU, its Chief of Police, administrators, and many students all attend,” Kaitlyn Green, the president of SARA, said. “So when the WRC contacted us about working with them in April, this was something we knew we wanted to do again because we had a lot of success with it last year.”
SARA was established on EMU’s campus to raise awareness for sexual assault and rape. The organization offers various avenues of support to survivors on campus. This includes peer support through their organization, assisting survivors in navigating support on or off campus and collaborating with other organizations to offer accessible and inclusive resources.
“This event will connect survivors with a community of people who may have had similar experiences to them,” Green said. “We also want to have somewhat of a lighthearted environment that will connect people with their resources on campus such as the Women's Resource and Title IX. If they have any questions or concerns about anything, they can ask them right then and there without the intimidating environment of an office.”
The mission of the women’s center is to recognize and celebrate the diverse representations of women on campus. The center provides a safe space for women to go on campus while encouraging and supporting their personal growth, academic, and professional development. They offer advocacy and referral services while providing educational programming and resources to help women at EMU reach their full potential.
Read more: Women of Color & Feminism Leadership Symposium fosters community on campus
“Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to rainn.org,” Deanna Kowaleski, WRC’s program coordinator, said in a written statement. “Women ages 18-24 are at an elevated risk of sexual violence and because of this, we want to bring this awareness to campus and work towards preventing these assaults from happening on and around our community.”
EMU’s Title IX is dedicated to promoting gender equality and inclusion, including the coordination of the University's efforts to prevent and effectively respond to all forms of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct, including sexual and relationship violence, that occurs within and impacts the university’s community including sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.
“With the visualization of the paintings, it will provide the campus community to help speak out against Sexual Assault,” Kowaleski said. “We believe ALL survivors and help those who have been assaulted to come forward and report their assault.”
The Eastern Echo welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.