Students, Greek life participate in sexual violence prevention activities

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Students, Greek life participate in sexual violence prevention activities

Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Photo by Matthew Serafin / matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Andrew Schilling

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Approximately 60 T-shirts were decorated this week by students to support sexual violence victims in the Marquette community.

On Monday and Tuesday students wrote personal messages on shirts for Sexual Violence Prevention Week, which runs until April 17. T-Shirts, markers and watercolor paint were provided by Marquette sororities and fraternities. Upon completion, the shirts were hung outside the Henke Lounge in the Alumni Memorial Union.

“I think that just by seeing bigger numbers and bigger events raises more awareness about Sexual Assault,” said Ellen Hemminger, a clothesline project participant and sophomore in the College of Communication.

Messages on the shirts ranged from words of encouragement such as “we believe you” to “you are beautiful.”

“I think it’s important for people to know that the community cares about sexual violence prevention and its survivors,” said Emily Schumacher-Novak, coordinator for sexual violence prevention and education.

The completed shirts will be publicly displayed in Westowne Square and Central Mall all week.

“We decided that we wanted to do something during the week that would talk about support for survivors, and show our community support in general,” Schumacher-Novak said.

Sexual Violence Prevention Week was planned by the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee, which includes Greek life members. One or two members from each Greek chapter volunteer their time to the committee, which meets once every month. The idea for the clothesline project came from Corrinne Kwapis, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“The Greek community has such a wide reach, so every event they’re associated with has been well-attended and people are aware of the events,” Schumacher-Novak said.

Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, the committee said it plans to host numerous events later this month as well.

“We just wanted to make a positive impact on campus and show other non-Greek members that we’re very value-based and community service-based,” said Amanda McDonald, a sophomore in the College of Nursing.

The prevention week activities are mostly student-led but they also receive some faculty support and overview from Sarah Johnson, director for alcohol and other drug prevention at the Medical Clinic, and Chris Daood, Title IX coordinator for student affairs and Schumacher-Novak.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, hosted by Alpha Chi Omega, kicked off the prevention week on Saturday with men walking a mile in high heels to support victims of domestic violence. Sunday’s Airband competition featured a student-made video about bystander prevention techniques. Free bowling was offered at the Annex on Tuesday as part of the Strike Out Sexual Violence campaign.

The prevention week will conclude with a speech from Laverne Cox tonight and an “It’s On Us” pledge on Friday.

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