The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Campaign says ‘stand up’ against sexual assault

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Photo by Courtesy

Stand Up is a campus campaign that trains students in prevention and active bystander behavior. 

Texas A&M’s “Step In, Stand Up” campaign is one of the latest additions to the growing list of campus sexual assault prevention campaigns nationwide.
Step In, Stand Up is the Aggie adaptation of “It’s On Us,” the White House’s sexual assault prevention initiative, said interim executive director of marketing Kim Miller.  Step In, Stand Up began in response to sexual violence on college campuses across the nation and hopes to urge A&M to “Step in and stand up” by being active and putting an end to sexual violence, said Miller.
Miller said the idea for the campaign theme came from a discussion about the loyalty and perseverance Aggies show by standing through football games.
“The idea was to talk about the Aggie core values of integrity and loyalty and stepping in talks about the action that bystanders can take,” Miller said. “Don’t just stand by and watch it, step in and help to stop it and then stand up against any kind of sexual assault or violence.”
Miller said the campaign will include speaking engagements as well as a social media component throughout the year following the launch in the upcoming weeks.
“Initially the launch will be a big push,” Miller said. “We have swag items such as rubber bracelets that are teal and maroon. The teal color is identified with sexual assault awareness month, which is the month of April.”
While April will be a big month for Step In, Stand Up, Miller said all throughout the year the campaign will have a social media presence and be available to speak to student organizations.
April-Autumn Jenkins, program coordinator of prevention education, said she works in the office of Consensual Language Education Awareness and Relationships, or CLEAR. CLEAR is working with Step In, Stand Up to focus on how to make the definition of consent clearer.
“We talk about those issues and do training on prevention education, bystander intervention, sexual violence which includes dating violence, stalking and domestic violence, as well as some areas of oppression and how those things intersect with violence against women,” Jenkins said. “Not only women but violence that occurs on this campus.”
Part of the university’s responsibility is to educate new and existing students on the protocols and procedures surrounding Title IX, Jenkins said. 
“Title IX issues are anything that would disrupt a student that is around discrimination on campus, particularly where gender is concerned,” Jenkins said. “So the university has a responsibility of responding if someone is being harassed or discriminated against and it is affecting their education.”    
 Jenkins said Rule 47 in A&M’s Student Conduct Rules ties Title IX to procedures in place that stress a clear definition of consent.
“As a university, the university is charged with doing an investigation and making sure that students are safe in this environment,” Jenkins said. “And if we as a university do not respond to reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, then we could be charged with a Title IX sanction from the federal government.” 
Student Anti-Violence Educators, or SAVE, is a group of peers who talk about issues of sexual violence, Jenkins said. She said this is a great way for students to get directly involved in creating awareness and stopping sexual violence.
“As a staff here, it is my job to talk about these issues. However, I feel that it is really important that students have the tools that they need to be able to have these conversations when these things are happening,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s more appropriate and students feel more comfortable in opening up with some of the real issues when it’s other peers that are really passionate about this topic.”

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