JONESBORO – Reducing the impact of sexual assault on the Arkansas State University community is the goal of a semester-long series of events to raise awareness and build support for victims.
Chancellor Kelly Damphousse begins the campaign on Monday, Feb. 5, at noon by inviting students, faculty and staff to take the Pack Pact and begin Acting for Change Together on sexual assault.
“Sexual assault is a reality on every college and university campus, and education is how we can come together to prevent this problem,” Damphousse said. “The national statistics show that more than 10 percent of all students – male and female – experience rape or sexual assault through force. Less than 20 percent of female college-age student victims will report to authorities what happened to them. We need to step up to support those who have felt they had no voice.”
The opening event will be held in Centennial Hall at the Reng Student Union. Members of the student campus leadership, along with faculty and staff, will join together to support each other, and work toward the goal of reducing sexual violence.
“We want our students to know who to report problems to, and we want them to know we have services and support for them,” Damphousse said. “And we don’t want to overlook our faculty and staff. This is also a workplace issue as well.”
Among the events planned for later in the semester are a 5K walk/run, Tuesday, March 13; Sexual Assault Awareness Week, April 2-6; and a campus participation in the nationwide Denim Day, April 25. Student contests for art work and promotional activities will also take place during the spring semester along with other events to be announced.
“What we begin on Feb. 5 will continue throughout the semester because we need to address issues that have occurred here and on college campuses across the country,” Damphousse said. “That is why the ‘act’ in our pact stands for Acting for Change Together.”