Before Eastern Illinois University freshmen arrived on campus, students were trained on alcohol safety and sexual assault prevention. But the resources and education don’t stop there.
The Sexual Assault Taskforce, composed of EIU faculty, staff and community advocates, invites the campus and the community to attend a keynote presentation titled “Shattering the Silence of Sexual Violence” by Angela Rose. The presentations are sponsored by President Bill Perry and the Division of Student Affairs.
Angela Rose, a national expert in sexual assault prevention and advocate for survivor empowerment, is the founder of PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment), Men Opposing Sexual Assault and creator of “Transition to Survivor,” a documentary about survivors of sexual assault.
The keynote presentation will be from 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. The event is open to the public.
Jackie Hines, associate director at the EIU Counseling Center and chair of the taskforce, said President Perry wanted to bring an expert on sexual assault prevention at the beginning of the school year to provide students with additional resources early on.
Angela Rose will also speak to specific groups on EIU’s campus in one-on-one sessions, but those sessions are not open to the public.
Hines said the keynote presentation and one-on-one sessions are only two examples of the efforts that Sexual Assault Taskforce has planned this school year.
Freshmen completed an online training program focused on safe drinking and sexual assault prevention before arriving on campus, and students were reintroduced to the material at an opening night program, she said.
The one-hour presentation provided students with strategies to increase safety, on-and off-campus resources and bystander intervention strategies, Hines said.
“We want to provide knowledge and resources to our students before they walk on campus and experience opening weekend,” Hines said. “We are not trying to scare our students. EIU is a safe campus and Charleston is a safe community, but we want to provide them with the necessary knowledge and resources they can use throughout their time at EIU and beyond.”
The Student Affairs staff, community advocates and others facilitated the program throughout campus to freshmen in small groups divided by gender. In our experience, students seem to feel more comfortable with sexual assault training when it is divided by gender, Hines said.
The on-campus training builds upon the online program Alcohol EDU and the module Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault, offered over the summer to students. Students were introduced to key definitions and statistics, bystander strategies and the specific reporting policies of EIU.
On-campus training efforts and outreach throughout the year are sponsored by the Sexual Assault Taskforce. The taskforce seeks to provide campus with a proactive approach on sexual assault prevention and to ensure the safety of all students on campus.
The training and the taskforce are not new to EIU’s campus. They are, rather, continuing efforts to ensure the safety of students, said Daniel Nadler, vice president for student affairs.
“EIU is committed to providing the safest campus possible for our students, faculty and staff,” Nadler said. “The Sexual Assault Taskforce takes a proactive role in providing education and resources through the seamless collaboration of on-campus staff and community agencies.”
“We are ensuring a culture of openness that will not tolerate sexual assault, abuse or other sexual misconduct including domestic violence, dating violence and stalking,” he continued.
For more information about Angela Rose, click here.