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Changing the Campus Culture Surrounding Sexual Violence: A Plan for SUNY Buffalo State Contributors: Annie Connors Jennifer McLaurin Anthony Nicosia Joanna.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing the Campus Culture Surrounding Sexual Violence: A Plan for SUNY Buffalo State Contributors: Annie Connors Jennifer McLaurin Anthony Nicosia Joanna."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing the Campus Culture Surrounding Sexual Violence: A Plan for SUNY Buffalo State Contributors: Annie Connors Jennifer McLaurin Anthony Nicosia Joanna Stein

2 “We must do more to raise awareness about the realities of sexual assault; confront and change insensitive attitudes wherever they persist, enhance training and education in the criminal justice system, and expand access to critical health, legal and protection services for survivors.” President Barack Obama, April 2012

3 Introduction In response to President Obama’s call to address sexual assault on college campuses nationwide, and to our own students’ desire for the same, SUNY Buffalo State has developed a task force to address sexual violence on our campus.

4 The Cold Hard Facts 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college Most victims know their assailants It’s not just women, almost 1.6 million men have reported being raped at some point in their lifetime College survivors of sexual violence suffer high rates of depression, drug or alcohol abuse and PTSD (The White House Council on Women and Girls, 2014)

5 Objectives The task force will develop programs, policies and protocols that: Prevent sexual misconduct Change the paradigm from victims protecting themselves from sexual violence to a culture where sexual violence is considered unacceptable and bystanders take an active role in prevention Clarify myths v. facts about sexual violence Accommodate the unique needs of survivors of sexual violence Ensure the rights of those accused of sexual violence are met Educate the campus community on how to define “consent”

6 Involvement To address the issue of sexual violence on our campus, we recognize that everyone must be involved. Programs, policies and protocols developed by the task force will address and engage the entire campus community. Additionally, the task force itself will consist of members from different parts of the campus community including: Student Affairs Educators from multiple functional areas Faculty Members from a variety of disciplines Students who are passionate about addressing the issue of sexual violence on campus

7 How Will the Task Force Work? Task force meetings will be held biweekly Committees will be formed to work on specific initiatives* Annual meetings after implementation of all new initiatives, policies and procedures is complete* Programs will be assessed annually*

8 Policies & Procedures Current institutional policies and procedures regarding sexual violence will be reviewed by the task force to ensure that federal, state and local regulations are being met and that the policies and procedures in effect are practical and appropriate. Revisions will be made as needed. All policies and procedures will be reviewed by the task force annually and revised if necessary.

9 Policies & Procedures New policies and procedures will be developed where none exist. The task force will ensure that any newly developed policies and procedures are practical, appropriate and meet any federal, state and local regulations. Policies and protocols will address, but will not be limited to sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment and stalking. Policies will included definitions of each of these forms of sexual violence.

10 Initiatives Health and Counseling Center Involvement Student Education, Training and Involvement Faculty, Staff, Administration (FSA) Education and Involvement Campus Awareness

11 Health and Counseling Center Initiatives Develop a 24 hour sexual violence hotline with texting capabilities* Recruit volunteers to serve as advocates* Develop group counseling sessions for survivors and friends.

12 Health and Counseling Center Initiatives Make informational materials available in waiting areas at Health and Counseling Centers* Require Health and Counseling Center staff to attend both sexual violence training and a diversity workshop annually in an effort to ensure that staff are prepared to accommodate survivors from all populations. Ensure that there is at least one counselor on staff whose training and focus is primarily sexual violence.*

13 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre Develop SCREAM theatre peer education improvisational theatre program  Implement SCREAM theatre as a part of New Student Orientation  Organize SCREAM theatre performances in residence halls

14 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre SCREAM theatre (Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths ) educates audiences on issues of interpersonal violence, specifically on sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment.

15 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre Student educators receive training and information regarding interpersonal violence, develop fictional charters and get comfortable with acting Student educators then develop scenarios based on occurrences on their campus and act these situations out in front of an audience of their peers* There is no script, so no two performances are identical

16 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre After the performance, peer educators stay in character and field questions from the audience* In the final stage of the program, educators come out of character, introduce themselves, explain the importance of their character and provide an educational message addressing sexual violence Audience members are provided with important resources at the conclusion of the performance*

17 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre Why SCREAM Theatre? Research shows that peer education on the topic of sexual violence is more effective when facilitated by peers than by professionals (McMahon, 2014)* After attending a SCREAM performance, audience members have shown:  A significant decrease in rape myth acceptance  A significant increase in positive attitudes to intervene as a bystander (McMahon, 2014)

18 Student Education, Training and Involvement: SCREAM Theatre Why SCREAM Theatre? It promotes bystander intervention. This approaches sexual violence as a community issue not just an issue for the victim* It is cost effective, well received by students and emotionally powerful form of engagement

19 FSA Education and Involvement Work with Counseling Center to develop Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Awareness Training geared toward campus employees Training will be developed using the Counseling Center’s existing Active Bystander program as a foundation.

20 FSA Education and Involvement What Will the Training Include? Institution’s sexual offense statistics which are tracked in accordance with the Clery Act Information about the SaVE Act Bystander intervention training* A review of campus policies and procedures surrounding sexual violence Detailed instructions on what to do if a student or colleague reports that they have been a victim of sexual violence How to promote a campus culture where sexual violence is unacceptable

21 FSA Education and Involvement Who Will Be Required to Participate? Faculty Professional Staff Paraprofessional Staff Administrators Union Employees

22 Campus Awareness Initiatives Design Activities for Sexual Violence Awareness Week* Launch a poster campaign throughout campus Utilize social media to educate the campus community about sexual violence and sexual violence prevention

23 Campus Awareness WHERE DO YOU STAND? Monday, April 7 th pm in the Campus Lounge CONSENT IS SEXY Tuesday, April 8 th pm in the Campus Lounge Awareness Week Events

24 WHAT IS CONSENT? Wednesday, April 9 th, pm in the Outdoor Quad FIND YOUR VOICE CAMPAIGN Thursday, April 10 th, pm in the Residents Halls Campus Awareness Awareness Week Events

25 TEAL FLAG SILENT MARCH Friday, April 11 th, pm in the Outdoor Quad Awareness Week Events Campus Awareness

26 Social Media Campaign Create a “Buffalo State United Against Sexual Violence” Facebook page and post information, facts and current articles. Encourage students to “like” this page by including “Like us on Facebook” on all informational materials including bookmarks, brochures and posters Create a twitter account and regularly post “fast facts” Record SCREAM Theatre performances and post on YouTube Educate students about the “Circle of 6” app and encourage them to use it*

27 Funding The task force will apply for a grant from the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women to fund the initiatives presented here.

28 References McMahon, (2014). Utilizing Peer Education Theater for the Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence on College Campuses. Journal of college student development, 55(1), 78. Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action. The White House Council on Women and Girls, January 2014.


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