Sexual Assault Awareness month activities at Fresno State wrap up Wednesday, April 29 with Denim Day noon-2 p.m. in the Free Speech Area and the LGBTQQIA Sexual Assault Panel from noon-1:30 p.m. in Henry Madden Library, room 2206.
The university also nears its goal of requiring all students to complete an online educational course, the Haven Understanding Sexual Assault. Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president for student affairs, reports that 87 percent of the student population have completed the two-part training and another 11 percent are currently finishing it. Together this totals 20,991 students who have participated (18,117 completed both parts).
For the remaining three percent – approximately 2,100 – who have not completed the training, a hold has been placed on registration for fall 2015 classes. Students who have holds are still able to access the training, and the hold will be lifted upon completion. Many of those may be seniors who will be graduating, Lamas said.
Federal regulations require that incoming students in 2014-15 participate in sexual assault awareness training, but Fresno State committed to have all 23,138 students participate.
“The University went beyond the law and asked all students to participate in training,” Lamas said. “A vast majority complied which is testament to how our students, administration, faculty, staff and community care. We are committed to addressing sexual assault, helping eradicate it from our society and always addressing the needs of victims and survivors of this serious issue.”
Additional efforts to raise awareness on campus include the Stop the Silence Campaign, held last week with a pledge signing, a victim conference, film screenings, discussion panels, media interviews and TV appearances. Student Affairs also teamed with students to produce a video, “It’s On Us” which can be viewed online.
Wednesday’s panel will examine sexual assault in the LGBTQQIA community focusing on cultural misconceptions, legal discrepancies and the impact on community. It is free and open to the public but parking is $3. Day parking permits are available at dispensers on campus (the Barton Avenue dispenser off Shaw and Lots P-30 and 31 are closest to the library).
Panelists will include Dr. Cara Emes, licensed psychologist in Clovis; Melissa Knight, women’s studies professor; and Fresno State student Krysten Cherkasi, a junior majoring in philosophy and women’s studies.
For Denim Day, Fresno State’s Women’s Resource Center has partnered with Rape Counseling Services of Fresno and Marjaree Mason Center in the effort to educate the community about sexual violence through the annual national sexual assault campaign and awareness day.
“The nationwide observance held annually in April encourages people to wear jeans on Wednesday to support survivors of sexual assault and raise awareness around the issue,” said Jessica Adams, coordinator of the center.
At the display, students can write their own personal messages on the jeans. They are also asked to use #DenimDayFresno to document their participation on social media.
“We hope the display will encourage students to engage in conversation about sexual assault prevention,” she added.
For more information, contact Adams at 559.278.4435.