Fighting sexual violence one sticky note at a time
MANAGING MOSAIC EDITOR
With the help of the #WeAreUD Vision Wall, students across campus are imagining a world free of sexual violence. The wall, a large mobile whiteboard, was left to stand on campus for two weeks. From Sept. 13-20, it sat in the Perkins Student Center, and then was moved to Trabant for the following week.
Students were encouraged to imagine a world without sexual violence and write those aspirations on a sticky note. By the end of each day, the board had become covered in different notes.
“The hope was to have it out pretty much all day, but we only had it out for an hour each day and I was really thrilled by the response,” says Joanne Sampson, a sexual violence prevention specialist at Student Wellness & Health Promotion.
Sampson says the #WeAreUD movement is about raising awareness on campus about sexual violence and providing support to victims.
She says the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education committee wanted to get this movement out early in the semester to provide early support to new students. To Sampson, the movement gives students a voice, which she says was powerful to see.
“It shows campus there are people here who are deeply committed and passionate about ending [sexual violence],” Sampson says. “We absolutely believe that we can end it or we wouldn’t be doing this work.”
Sampson is inspired by the passion students hold for ending sexual violence and promoting awareness.
“The most powerful and inspiring people on this campus are the students,” Sampson says. “They’re really the ones behind this movement.”
The committee, along with the members of Sexual Offense Support (S.O.S.), planned to utilize the words written on the wall to create a poem that embodied how students felt about creating a world without sexual violence.
However, the Vision Wall Poetry Reading which occurred last Thursday did not have the dramatic turnout the committee had expected. Sampson says that the committee is planning to take the words and create a new project that they could display to the public.
“The beauty of the vision wall is it’s the words of our community,” Sampson says. “I hope it has touched as many students as possible.”