April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), which Drexel University recognizes annually by designating every Tuesday in April as a “Teal Tuesday.” All Dragons are encouraged to wear teal T-shirts and ribbons. Volunteers will be at the Mario Dragon Statue at the corner of 33rd and Market streets every Tuesday from 12–2 p.m. passing out shirts and ribbons for those who would like to participate, along with information about sexual violence and related topics.
The Office of Equality and Diversity’s (OED) SAAM 2019 aligns its mission with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s campaign, “I Ask.”
“Our students know that sexual violence is prominent on college campuses and want to know how to prevent it,” said Reema Malhotra, OED’s Education and Prevention Specialist. “We ask students to examine how they ask for consent in every aspect of their lives, not just in intimate situations.”
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center explains that “asking for consent is a healthy, normal and necessary part of everyday interactions.” Malhotra continues, “Students can practice by asking for consent to give a hug, shut a door, share a picture on Instagram, or hold hands.”
Planned SAAM programming provides plenty of opportunities to learn and engage for all members of the Drexel community. Offerings include: “How to Support a Survivor” lunch-and-learn; “Memento”: a #MeToo art exhibit with a meet the artist opening event; and “Where’s My Voice?,” a workshop during World Dragon Week that discusses culture and sexual violence. OED is also collaborating with several fraternity and sorority organizations on a “Not a Bystander: Sexual Violence Awareness” panel, which will invite participants to learn about and discuss Drexel’s Title IX policy, confidential resources, bystander intervention and stereotypes that exist around sexual violence in Greek communities.
OED’s programming efforts are intended to be aspirational and responsive, giving members of the community information they need to learn and opportunities to communicate and engage in a comfortable setting.
Community engagement motivated the formation of OED’s peer education network, Drexel Student Anti-Violence Educators (Drexel SAVE), in 2018. During its inaugural year, student advocates trained to act as facilitators for programs about sexual violence, bystander intervention and related topics. A new training, “In Their Shoes,” is an interactive, simulation-based workshop that asks participants to “walk in the shoes” of a Drexel student experiencing violence. For more information on this workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone looking to get involved with SAAM 2019 at Drexel, including students interested in joining Drexel SAVE, can email Reema Malhotra at email@example.com with their interest, or stop by any of the events. More information about resources at Drexel University for those affected by sexual and gender-based harassment and misconduct, including confidential resources and reporting options, can be found on OED's Title IX Resource Page.
A full calendar of events can be found here.