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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Task force works to refine its campaign

A new sexual violence task force comprised of Texas A&M students and faculty is gearing up for an awareness campaign, but specific plans have yet to be announced.
A sexual violence task force, which began just over a month ago, was created to face the issue of sexual assault and violence head on. The Texas A&M University Sexual Violence Campaign aims to make the Texas A&M community aware of this sexual assault on campus.
José Luis Bermúdez, associate provost for strategic planning and faculty advisor for the task force, said this committee stems from the need of a larger effort to take a stand as a university.
“We have many organizations on campus in things related to sexual violence campaigns,” Bermúdez said. “But what is missing is a really concerted campus-wide effort that draws on Texas A&M’s values and making people willing to take a stand on kinds of behaviors that seem to be much more discussed on college campuses.”
Student Body President and task force member Kyle Kelly said the campaign will focus on two main tactics — awareness and positive peer pressure.
“We want to have a very Aggie message — kind of like our code of honor, ‘An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do,’ — in which we do not … tolerate certain things for all Aggies,” Kelly said. “We take care of our own, we watch out for each other.”
In a survey released to the members of the task force, two different campaign options were presented. The survey emphasizes that both the wording and the messages of the campaigns are in the works and liable to change, but they want to get feedback on what they have so far.
The first campaign, “Start the Stop,” focuses on the message of uniting to tackle sexual violence.
An accompanying statement in the survey states, “It starts with you. And you. And you. Putting a stop to sexual violence and sexual harassment starts with each and every one of us. But we can’t do it alone. We must work as one, lead as one and learn as one. Through education, awareness, people and programs, we can ‘Start the Stop.’”
The second campaign, “Be in the NO,” chooses to focus more on specific goal and outlines.
Its statement reads, “To stop the unnecessary, senseless acts of sexual violence, education and awareness are key. We must be informed and knowledgeable. We must be able to recognize the signs. And in the event that we are victims ourselves, we must know what to do to protect ourselves physically and emotionally.”
Kelly said the task force is also working closely with a Dallas-based production company, Belmont Icehouse, on an awareness video. Kelly said students could expect the video to be released late this semester.
“We want it to be engaging,” Kelly said, “Ultimately we want it to make a statement on a national stage. As A&M does in so many respects — we want to lead on this issue.”
The campaign is still in the works, and a lot of work is anticipated on the issue. Along with the video, there has been talk of campus events and a booth during Gig ’Em Week.
Information on how to get involved will be sent out soon.

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