Apr 232012
 
Authors: Moonier Said

Sexual assault is a very real problem on college campuses across the country, and Kathryn Woods, the assistant director of CSU’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center was ready to talk about it.

The only problem? No students were there to listen.

“Canceling an event because no students show up is a part of the problem,” said Dr. William Timpson, a CSU education professor who worked with the Board of Peace and Reconciliation Studies to facilitate a sex assault teach-in led by Woods.

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), Woods said she intended to give college students a better awareness and knowledge of assaults on campus.

“I was going to have students get into small discussion groups and really be active instead of just giving them information,” Woods said.

The lack of student attendance was attributed to finals week nearing, but also highlighted the lack of an environment where these issues can be discussed.

“Having no one show up may indicate how hard of a topic this is and the unwillingness to talk about it,” Timpson said.

And while the low turnout suggested students may feel like this subject doesn’t require much attention, the opposite is true according to the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, which says that at least one in four college women will experience a sexual assault in their academic career.

“We are all responsible for helping to prevent sexual assault and make sure we know that it’s on our campus,” Woods said.

For those interested in getting involved or learning more about sexual assault and the resources available at CSU, several events are still set to occur during SAAM.

Those who have been directly affected by an assault, or know someone who has, can go straight to the Victim Assistance Team (VAT).

According to the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, VAT advocates are specially trained in the legal ramifications of sexual assault, as well as the physical and psychological effects sexual assault can have on an individual.

These advocates are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be reached by calling Campus Emergency at (970) 491-7111.

Collegian writer Moonier Said can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:44 pm

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