The Women’s Center is looking forward to bringing back some of the various events and awareness days from prior years, and revamping them to reach out even more to Slippery Rock University students. Last week, the Women’s Center launched two awareness events, RAINN day and PACT5 day of action. RAINN day, on Sept. 23, included bright drink umbrellas given to customers of T&B Naturally and Weisenfluh on campus. Our chosen slogan was to “be someone’s umbrella today. STAND up. SPEAK out. END sexual violence.” RAINN day is nationally recognized as an “annual day of action to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses,” according to the organization’s website. For SRU, our goal is to consistently be reminding students that sexual violence can, and does, happen, and it takes many forms. RAINN stands for the “rape, abuse, and incest national network.” Having a constant awareness can better prepare students for situations which they may either encounter personally or witness.
Likewise, the PACT5 day of action is a launching point for a movement that we hope will continue on our campus. According to PACT5’s website, it is “a national movement to prevent sexual assaults and rapes in colleges.” Coincidentally, PACT5’s day of action fell on Sept. 25, but the Women’s Center does not want to limit this movement to just that day. Many student organizations joined in support of the PACT. Individuals within these organizations signed the PACT and whole organizations chose to represent themselves as allies through a personalized portion of a banner, which is now hanging in the Student Development Suite in the Smith Student Center. We hope that the banner will be a constant reminder to students that sexual violence is not welcome on our campus.
Additional events coming up this semester include the Clothesline Project, which will be displayed Oct. 14-24 in the Student Center. The Clothesline Project features more than 150 tee shirts created by SRU or Butler Country survivors of sexual violence or friends of the survivors. The display is a visual testimony to the existence of sexual violence in our community. Karla Fonner, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center, will be hosting SNET training on Oct. 25 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. This training will address responsibilities of leaders, faculty, and staff who may be approached by victims of interpersonal violence. Registration should be done through Human Resources, (724)738-2070. Also, on Nov. 5 the Women’s Center will be supporting the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and other sponsors of Take Back the Night, following Women’s Studies Lunafest.
While sexual violence prevention is a substantial component to the Women’s Center, it is not our only goal. We will be also participating in Healthfest, on Oct. 15, addressing women’s health issues including: heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Nov. 21 will be our Start Smart salary negotiation workshop. Interested students should contact Career Education and Development to register, (724)738-2028.
The Women’s Center plans to not limit ourselves to exclusively our own events. Organizations and departments interested in cosponsoring events, or seeking support, can contact the Women’s Center director, Jodi Solito. As part of our initiative to reach out to more SRU students, we are excited to join with other campus departments in an effort to continually make our campus a better, safer place.