Allies for Sexual Assault Prevention will not be returning to campus this term, as the post-baccalaureate attempting to bring it back has quit.
In 2010, activist Jaclyn Friedman came to campus, and her program Yes Means Yes inspired the school to create Allies for Sexual Assault Prevention in the spring of that year. The mission of ASAP was to encourage students to talk about sex and sexual assault through events on campus with a strong emphasis on “keeping the conversation going.” ASAP was comprised of different organizations on campus such as the Panhellenic Council and Common Ground to create a very diverse environment and knowledge about these topics.
Each term, two different organizations paired up to run ASAP, allowing groups who were busier to have time off and allow a change of goals per term of topics to bring to campus. ASAP would then continue to work through an educational program by holding workshops around campus to keep students talking. Even faculty from different backgrounds were brought onto the council to help with different programs.
“When we paired people up, there was a different level of conversation … we were trying to move both groups together and trying to get different students involved,” Dean of Students Debra Southern said. The group was not active during the last school year, but post-baccalaureate Amanda Lee ’13 was hoping to bring it back this term. She had worked through the summer, but took a job offer elsewhere and left before her post-bac started.
“When she left unexpectedly, we’ve been trying to piece together where she was at, what her goals were and what we are able to realistically do at this point, not having the post-bac we were expecting to have,” Associate Dean of Students Laura Schnack said.
Last Friday, Schnack went with Lecturer in Anthropology-Sociology Tianna Cervantes to interview six practicum students at Western Illinois University in the college’s student personnel program. These are students in their second term of their first year of the program that require an internship as a part of a course. Knox is looking into giving them such an internship. Four of the students out of the six that were interviewed were interested in working with Title IX issues, which is an act preventing the discrimination of women in education. These students could possibly be used to bring ASAP back, but there is a chance that the student won’t take the job, and even if they do, that might not be their purpose.
“I know we’re not going to be able to have something for winter term for ASAP to come back,” Schnack said. “There is a possibility of it coming back spring term, but that would have to depend on how the practicum is structured and what direction we’re going in because there are a lot of other areas that we’re also looking at using the practicum student for.”
Because it has not been around for a year, Southern and Schnack are also worried about getting people on campus interested and involved with ASAP again to bring it back.
“If people haven’t experienced it, they don’t know how useful it was,” Schnack said. If they can’t get students interested in getting involved again, then the council won’t be able to foster the conversation that it is intended to.
Still, both Southern and Schnack said they wanted to see the return of ASAP in the future.
“I think it’s a good group … because it brings together groups across campus. There is strength in that. And that’s why I’d like to see it go forward,” Southern said.