My research investigates intersections of theater for social justice, the college campus sexual assault epidemic, and programs for sexual assault prevention. Using this research as a foundation, I have created a proposal for Ursinus College’s sexual assault prevention program. This proposal is informed by the 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter” on sexual violence, the White House “It’s On Us” campaign, and successful theater-based sexual violence prevention programs. My proposal focuses on the definition of consent, bystander intervention, healthy relationships, relationship abuse, sexual expression, and safer sex practices. The proposal demonstrates the ways in which student-written monologues and short scenes in combination with information about statistics and available resources can provide a comprehensive sexual assault prevention education for college students.
What Was Valuable About the Experience
Throughout my research I was able to step out of my comfort zone and worked with different disciplines to complete my research and create an end product of a proposed new student orientation program on sexual assault and violence prevention. I was able to read first-hand accounts of sexual assault survivors and get a glimpse at their reporting and/or healing processes. As a Peer Advocate I was also able to take many programming ideas I researched and hopefully bring these nationwide campaigns to life on Ursinus’ campus.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part of my summer fellows research was putting together my program proposal for new student orientation on sexual assault and violence prevention. I used student written pieces to discuss topics of healthy and unhealthy/abusive relationships, consent, bystander intervention, LGBTQ identities, and safer sex practices within an hour long proposed program. If accepted this program will continue every year for new student orientation and will grow as students write their own experiences and pieces to be included in the program. Being able to set the groundwork to educate and empower new students every year at orientation helps me leave my mark on future Ursinus students. I hope to teach students to respect and stand up for one another on campus and this research provides that knowledge to others.
Who I Met that Made a Difference
Being able to work alongside Dr. Meghan Brodie from the Theater Department was an incredible experience. She guided me through my research and program proposal and really helped me bring the issue of sexual assault and violence prevention into a new perspective through the use of theater in terms of educating people on this topic. I also attended a conference during Summer Fellows directed by the Pennsylvania’s Department of Education on its use of the nationwide campaign “It’s On Us” to discuss with administrators from other schools across the state about their sexual assault prevention programs and important topics within the field of Title IX, sexual assault reporting, and supporting survivors of sexual assaults.
Vice President of Tau Sigma Gamma Sorority
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