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Organizations team up in ‘Race to SAAM’ for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Jalina Fourcade
On April 11, 2017

Jalina fourcade

Staff Reporter

Despite the looming end of the semester, the smell of fresh popcorn lured students to an unusual sight outside the Student Union. Students were seen donning beer goggles and high heels in an obstacle course race to promote sexual assault awareness on campus.

This event was a combined effort by campus organization Student Outreach & Advocacy Representatives, the Health Center, the Office of Student Conduct and a team of marketing students.

The event was a success with over 115 participants, 50 entries for the T-shirt giveaway, an informational browse and a “Race to SAAM” Snapchat filter.  

Senior general studies major Ashley Jones assisted in hosting this event with classmates from a public relations and marketing class.

“We hope to promote the Office of Student Conduct and bring more awareness to who they are because there is a misconception about it just being for when you get in trouble when they actually support awareness for sexual assault and do a lot of things on campus,” said Jones. “We hosted this event to get the students involved, bring awareness to the office as a safe haven for victims of sexual assault on campus.”

The obstacle course gave additional obstacles for wrong answers to questions about consent, and students learned a little more about the frequency of sexual assault and the focus of this event as sexual assault and domestic issues that are not often discussed on campus. 

“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Assistant Director of Student Conduct Antoinette Alack. “So in recognition of that, Student Conduct and SOAR decided to team up with the marketing team to give them a focus of consent and respect, and the Health Center joined to bring some alcohol prevention.”

According to a study by the United States Department of Justice, one in five female students will become a victim of sexual assault during their college years while one in 16 men also become a victim in those four years of college.

“With responsible drinking and knowledge of warning signs students can eliminate high risk behaviors that come with alcohol misuse,” said Alack. “Especially when considering consent to sexual activities cannot be given under the influence of alcohol.” 

Some students elected to an even greater challenge and wore both heels and beer goggles to complete the obstacle course with prizes of free popcorn and spirit merchandise encouraging students to win.

“Heels and beer goggles are very painful and very confusing,” said freshman business management major Kamron Kelly. “The race was pretty interesting and the questionnaire was pretty difficult to get through and win.” 

Freshman nursing major Alaya Thomas participated in the obstacle course wearing beer goggles which she found to be more difficult than she anticipated. 

“I wear glasses already so it was kind of hard to see through the goggles,” said Thomas.  “When I thought I was looking straight, I wasn’t.” 

There was also a table with mustache tattoos and fact sheets that followed the consent theme “You Mustache for Consent.” 

These organizations and the other marketing teams will be in attendance at Strawberry Jubilee.

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