Sexual Assault Awareness Month to Include Multiple Themed Events

The campus community is encouraged to support the effort by using the SAAM graphic at the top of this story on social media throughout the month of April.

The campus community is encouraged to support the effort by using the SAAM graphic at the top of this story on social media throughout the month of April.

As the University of Arkansas prepares for annual recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a myriad of events, the campus community is reminded of the need for awareness throughout the year and to be ever present in solidarity against sexual violence.

Case in point, a campuswide message last month, while intended to bring about awareness of resources and helpful information after several reports of sexual assault, unfortunately created a tone of victim blaming. Although education of comprehensive risk reduction strategies can help lessen incidents of sexual violence, most lacking from the message was the critical importance to always have clear, conscious, continuing voluntary consent. The university sincerely apologizes and commits to doing better moving forward. We want to make it clear that the university recognizes that survivors of sexual violence are never at fault.

Nationally recognized each year in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an opportunity to renew our commitment against sexual violence. It affords the chance to remind us that the university strongly condemns and has serious policies to address sexual violence, educational training programs for students, faculty and staff, as well as processes for reporting and investigating incidents of sexual violence. The university also provides resources of support and advocacy for victims and survivors.

“Our campus community is stronger when we stand together and denounce sexual violence,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. “Through Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, the university highlights opportunities for learning and engagement for all. Understanding the spectrum of sexual violence, the need for consent every time, recognition of bystander opportunities for intervention and the accountability of offending behaviors provides focal points for ongoing education across campus.”

Read Chancellor Steinmetz’s proclamation reinforcing the university’s commitment to ending sexual violence.  

We encourage all to unite and participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month events throughout April. Each week, a complete list of events will be featured in the daily Arkansas News email and on news.uark.edu. Events may also be found on the campus calendar. Please note that some of these events contain sensitive information regarding sexual and relationship violence.

Bringing a holistic approach to SAAM, campus events will focus on three themed weeks:

  • Awareness and understanding
  • Healing and support
  • Action and advocacy

SAAM 2021 Schedule of Events

Awareness and Understanding — April 5-9

SAAM Consent Fair
April 5-6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arkansas Union Mall

  • Event includes tabling and consent activities including a consent tree and buttons
  • NWA Sexual Assault, Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center, RESPECT, Title IX, University Programs will be represented.
  • Sponsored by University Programs with contribution from Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center’s RESPECT Peer Educators, Title IX Office, and NWA Center for Sexual Assault

Aly Raisman Distinguished Lecture 
April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Fayetteville Town Center (in-person and virtual event)

  • Gold-medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman, a leader on and off the floor, uses her platform to help normalize the conversation around mental health, promote positive body image and the importance of self-care. In her New York Times best-selling memoir, Fierce, she shares the highs and lows of her journey, including her survival of sexual abuse. Inspired by an army of survivors, Raisman continues to advocate for systematic changes within the sport of gymnastics and the eradication of sexual abuse.
  • The in-person lecture is open to the public but to attend in person, university students, faculty and staff must register here. Non-university affiliated members of the public should register to attend in person here. The in-person lecture will take place at the Fayetteville Town Center, adhering to the venue's COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • University-affiliated students, faculty and staff may also attend virtually with a provided link at dlc.uark.edu the day of the event.
  • Students can also sign up to be part of a Q & A session at HogSync.
  • Sponsored by the Distinguished Lectures Committee
  • Send any questions to: lectures@uark.edu

RAINN Day Event
April 8 (all day)

  • An annual day of awareness and action for sexual violence held on college campuses around the U.S. This virtual series of events is sponsored by the organization RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. More information is available at www.rainn.org.
  • Sponsored by RAINN 

The Art of Language: Creating Trauma Informed Messaging
April 8 at noon (virtual event)

  • Join the staff of the Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center for an overview of identifying rape culture in everyday language that lends to victim blaming and overlooking offenders' behaviors while trans versing to the creation of trauma informed messaging.
  • Join this Zoom event (must login with uark account) Meeting ID: 884 3976 4451 Passcode: j3065aJ%   
  • Sponsored by SRVC

Awareness and Understanding with RESPECT
April 8 at 7 p.m. (virtual event)

  • RESPECT peer educators present a facilitated conversation by college students geared toward college students as topics of sexual violence prevalence, risk reduction, prevention, bystander intervention, alcohol and drug facilitated rape, debunking rape myths and more are discussed in this interactive presentation with emphasis on creating cultural change and trauma informed communities.
  • Join this Zoom event (must login with uark account). Meeting ID: 842 1443 7835 Passcode: B4Tc+^U&
  • Sponsored by SRVC

SAAM Panel Discussion
April 9 from 2-3 p.m. (virtual event)

  • Discussion moderated by Julia Nall, president, Associated Student Government
  • Panelists include:
    • Stella Ndauwa, NWA Center for Sexual Assault
    • Heather Vinti, CAPS
    • Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center
    • Laura Jacobs, chief of staff and vice chancellor for university relations, chancellor's office
    • Anthony DiNicola, diversity and inclusion liaison, chancellor's office
  • This event is limited to the first 50 who sign up. When you register, you can submit questions to be distributed to the panelists ahead of the event.
  • Please fill out this form to register: hogsync.uark.edu/event/7032802
  • Sponsored by University Programs

Healing and Support — April 12-16

Guided Meditation
April 12 at 6 p.m. at PWHC Wellness Area (2nd floor)

  • Join Lydia Carrington, LAC, who will guide participants through a meditation exercise for rejuvenation. Offered as an in-person session (COVID capacity limits may restrict access depending on turn out) and as a virtual event. Social distancing and mask wearing are to be followed in accordance with University COVID policy.
  • Join the virtual option via Facebook Live @uarkRESPECT
  • Sponsored by SRVC

A Teal-Guided Hike: Finding Self-Connection and Healing
April 12-23 at Lake Fayetteville

  • Take some time to reflect along the Lake Fayetteville Trail. Various reflective moment markers designed in collaboration between SRVC staff and the university's School of Art will allow participants to engage in mindfulness while considering the impact of sexual violence, whether personally experienced or through being a member of the community at large.
  •  Co-sponsored by SRVC, S.T.A.T., (Service Through Art Therapy) and City of Fayetteville Parks

Roll Red Roll - Free Film and Discussion
April 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Greek Theatre

  • Come watch Roll Red Roll, a true crime thriller that goes beyond the headlines and reveals a culture at the root of a sexual assault in America. Following the film, an in-depth discussion will process the film with participants for an even greater understanding and the need for cultural change as a means to overcome sexual violence. Social distancing and mask wearing are to be followed in accordance with University COVID policy.
  • Presented by RESPECT peer educators and Theta Chi.
  • (Backup rain location will be the Union Ballroom)
  • Sponsored by SRVC RESPECT Peer Education program

DIY Stress Balls
April 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery (Arkansas Union, 4th floor)

  • An opportunity to craft DIY stress balls. The finished products can be donated as a part of the Survivor Care Kit Donation Drive (information below).
  • Sponsored by University Programs

Survivor Care Kit Donation Drive
April 14-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery (Arkansas Union, 4th floor)

  • Donations for survivor care kits can be dropped off during gallery hours during this time period.
  • All donated items will be provided to the NWA Center for Sexual Assault.
  • Here is a list of needed items:
    • Small coloring books & pencils
    • Small lotion (for bruises & irritated skin)
    • Underwear 
    • Small stuffed toy/stress ball
    • Calming tea
    • Bags to give survivors for these things (not Ziploc or plastic bags)
  • Sponsored by University Programs

SAAM Sunset Yoga
April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Adohi Hall (in-person and virtual event) 

  • "Each sunset is the beginning of a very, very bright and powerful sunrise." — Sri Chinmoy. Join Dr. Ed Mink, director of wellness and health promotion, Pat Walker Health Center, for an evening of healing energy with sunset yoga in the peacefully creative environment of Adohi Hall. Social distancing and mask wearing are to be followed in accordance with University COVID policy.
  • Join virtually via Facebook Live @uarkRESPECT
  • Co-sponsored by SRVC and Wellness & Health Promotion

Notes of Love and Support
April 15 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery (Arkansas Union, 4th floor)

  • Take and/or write and leave notes of support
  • NWA Sexual Assault Center representative will be on hand
  • Sponsored by University Programs

Action and Advocacy — April 19-30

Paint the Campus Teal
Across campus all week

  • Show your advocacy in action. Through solidarity, we can collectively rise above sexual violence by recoloring our cultural canvas. Let others know you stand against sexual violence and the attitudes, myths, and behaviors that lend to rape culture. Help paint the campus teal by way of showing your support. Example ideas include, but are not limited to tying teal ribbons of trees, door signs (create your own or print and hang one of these), create and display a departmental banner, change your social media profile image, chalk the walk with a message of support for victims/survivors with teal chalk, etc.
  • Coordinated through a campuswide partnership

What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation (Reflections in Art as Activism) Exhibit
April 19-23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery (Arkansas Union, 4th Floor)

  • The impactful exhibit that brings striking truth to debunking the popular myth surrounding clothing and sexual assault. University Programs joins the Sexual and Relationship Violence Center to display this exhibit throughout the week. The exhibit was created by staff of the Sexual and Relationship Violence Center and first displayed on campus in April 2014. Just a few short years later, the campus exhibit became a world phenomenon. Join the creators for a discussion panel on April 20 (information below).
  • Sponsored by SRVC with University Programs 

Reflections in Art as Activism Panel Discussion
April 20 at 7 p.m. (virtual event)

  • Join the co-creators of the worldwide sensation "What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation." Dr. Mary A. Wyandt-Hiebert of the University of Arkansas and Jen Brockman of the University of Kansas join together again to share the inspiration for the exhibit and the story to its worldwide popularity. The event will be virtual as the University of Arkansas and University of Kansas participate with the discussion together.
  • Join this Zoom event. Meeting ID: 820 9672 8952 Passcode: m3T+AjZB
  • Sponsored by University of Arkansas SRVC with University of Kansas SAPEC

The Sexual Violence Crisis in Graduate School
April 20 at 6 p.m. (virtual event)

  • Multiple topics will be discussed including consent, victim blaming, bystander intervention, accountability circles and power dynamics. Participants will also discuss options of what to do next when faced with sexual harassment or assault, including potential situations that would put a graduate student's research or degree on the line.
  • Register for the event.
  • Sponsored by graduate students

Take Back the Night
April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Greek Theatre

  • Join us for an evening of solidarity against sexual violence. Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan will officially recognize the event with a proclamation, followed by an evening of varied events such as featured speakers, a Speak Out, a moment of silence, and more at this advocacy in action event. Social distancing and mask wearing are to be followed in accordance with university and Arkansas Department of Health COVID guidance.
  • Sponsored by SRVC 

Denim Day Exhibition
April 26-30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the Anne Kittrell Art Gallery (Arkansas Union, 4th floor)

  • An exhibit of jeans with SAAM-related decorations and messages of support and awareness
  • Those who would like to participate in helping decorate jeans to be used in the exhibit will need to sign up on Hogsync to receive a pair of jeans.
  • Then, jeans will be available to be picked up through April 16.
  • Decorated jeans must be returned by April 20 so they can be used as a backdrop for the Take Back the Night event and then exhibited at the Denim Day Exhibition.
  • In addition, students are encouraged to wear jeans, denim jackets and denim accessories the week of April 26-30.
  • Sponsored by University Programs in partnership with SRVC

Teal Slime
April 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anne Kittrell Art Galley (Arkansas Union, 4th floor)

  • Join us in making DIY teal slime.
  • Sponsored by University Programs 

The campus community is encouraged to use the Sexual Assault Awareness Month graphic included at the top of this story on your social media accounts to help reinforce the commitment to ending sexual violence at the University of Arkansas.

As SAAM events unfold, the university truly wishes wellness for the entire community. The university recognizes that individuals who have experienced sexual violence are at different points in their healing processes. So, for anyone who may personally struggle as SAAM events receive heightened attention, a reminder that confidential campus support resources include the Sexual and Relationship Violence Center and CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services), both of the Pat Walker Health Center. Assistance may also be sought through U of A Cares and the Title IX Office.

Incidents of sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and discrimination may be reported through report.uark.edu.

Contacts

Charlie Alison, executive editor
University Relations
479-575-6731, calison@uark.edu

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