Sexual assault programming comes to campus

NATALIE SMITH / NEWS CO-EDITOR

The conversation about sexual assault on campus will continue tonight in the Reilly Room.

Sexual assault prevention speaker Aaron Boe will present “That Sex & Relationships Program” at 8 p.m.

The program targets sophomores and upperclassmen, especially those who live off campus. The talk will focus on sexual and relational intelligence.

Sarah Barnes Diaz, coordinator of health education and outreach programs, said she hopes students will come and give their input.

Diaz said she is more concerned with students continuing the conversation, as opposed to just filling seats.

“This is a chance for Butler to come together and honor the strength of survivors of sexual assault,” Diaz said. “It is a place to learn about how we can prevent sexual assault on our campus.”

Boe will talk to students about sexual assault on campus.

Diaz heard Boe speak several times and said she appreciates his angle.

“He has a really strong approach that really resonates well with students,” she said. “He wants to reach the student who thinks, ‘This doesn’t apply to me,’ so they can understand the role they should be empowered to play in preventing sexual assault.”

Diaz said the protests regarding sexual assault in April created a tough time for Butler, but she wants students to have that level of concern.

“There were questions raised and fingers being pointed,” Diaz said. “What we are trying to do is harness that energy and get input from students.”

Diaz said sexual assault is a problem in society, and Butler is not exempt from being affected.

Boe previously worked with a few fraternities and the men’s sexual assault awareness group on campus, Men Can Stop Sexual Violence.

Fraternity and sorority members will attend presentations given by Boe early next week.

Taylor Meek, a sophomore criminology and psychology combined major, will attend the program for sorority members.

She watched a highlight video of Boe’s previous visit to Butler in her women’s self-defense class.

“I really like it,” she said, “because he talked about things that needed to be talked about without getting in your face about it. It sounds like it is going to be a really approachable way to cover sexual assault that anyone can listen to and understand.”

Meek said she hopes the presentation will spark a conversation.

“It is a hard topic for people to discuss,” she said. “Either they have have personal experience and don’t want to share or people just don’t want to talk about such an ugly topic. People just throw up a wall. Having these programs and starting discussion is the only way we can address this issue.”

Diaz will meet with representatives from other college campuses next week to discuss future ways to address sexual assault on campuses.

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