By Tyler Leard, Staff Writer
Braving cold November weather, the Students Against Sexual Assault began their “14 Days to End Sexual Violence” event on Friday as a group of male students attempted to “walk a mile in her shoes” by completing an obstacle course, with varying degrees of success, wearing high heels. The event was the first of several to be hosted by SASA over the following two weeks aimed at raising awareness about sexual assault both on campus and in society.
“We’re generating lots of enthusiasm with these events” said Alyssa Bosold, one of the co-presidents of SASA. “The attendance and the enthusiasm is so much higher than it was last year. We think we’re succeeding in getting people to think more about this and what they can do to prevent it.”
In addition to the walk, the group also staged a showing of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and hosted several discussions dealing with gender and sexual violence issues and the promotion of a safe and healthy campus climate.
Upcoming events planned by SASA for the next several days include a discussion and dessert featuring guest speakers from Survivors, Greek Life and the Department of Public Safety, a dinner and showing of the documentary “Senorita Extraviada,” which deals with violence against women on the US-Mexican Border. The events deliberately contain a wide range of activities and are meant to appeal to the entire campus community. They will continue until Nov. 14.
“We’re trying to impact the entire campus with these events. In particular, we want to bring awareness of sexual violence to men. There’s a thought that sexual violence…is mostly a women’s problem, and that’s simply not true,” said Bosold.
This is the second “14 Days” event held by SASA. The club, which originated out of a Women’s and Gender Studies class, was founded in the fall of 2011 by Bosold, fellow senior Briana Stetler, and Gettysburg graduates Kelly Cunningham and Sabrina Marinelli.
The club meets on Thursdays in Breidenbaugh 205 from 8:30 to 9:15 and currently has 51 members.
SASA’s primary mission is to address sexual violence at Gettysburg and in general. Currently, 1 in 6 Gettysburg students have been or will be victims of sexual assault during their time at the school. In attempting to reduce this, the club is working with several other groups, including DPS, the college administration and Greek Life, to raise awareness of sexual violence and to promote cultural changes within the college that would reduce sexual assault and violence.
Students interested finding more information about the 14 Days events or SASA can visit SASA’s table in the College Union Building or go to the event’s website, http://14daysgettysburg.wordpress.com. The site can also be accessed via the banner on top of the Current Students page of the college website. More information about the event can also be found in this week’s Women’s Center column in the Features section of The Gettysburgian’s print edition.