Discourse / Letters / March 24, 2014

Letter to the editor: Don’t lose momentum on sexual assault prevention

Dear Knox community,

On Monday, March 10, the Knox campus was energized by Jackson Katz’s visit to campus. The presentation in Harbach Theatre — together with the many insightful comments and questions from students in attendance — was an important moment. But we also know, as do all of you, that such inspiring “moments” require continued energy and commitment if they are to translate into “momentum.”

We write this open letter to the campus to invite all of you to keep the momentum toward gender equality on campus moving in the right direction. As Dr. Katz stressed, we each in our individual ways can and must stand up when we hear language or see behavior that harms others in our community. We want to assure you that in the coming months we will be bringing opportunities for you to learn more about how bystanders can intervene in situations that have potential to harm others.

As you return to campus, you will notice new posters in every single bathroom on campus providing crucial information for students who are assaulted or know someone who has been assaulted. As a community, our ultimate goal must be to prevent such incidents, but we must also be aware that at times members of our community will — despite our best efforts — be harmed. Please take time to review these posters so that you are prepared to help others should they need assistance in a time of great need.

We urge all of you to commit yourselves this spring, and beyond, to the values of gender equity that Dr. Katz addressed — values that are also, after all, Knox values!  As we head into a season of electing club and organization leaders and setting agendas for those organizations, as we move into thinking about Flunk Day and the safest ways to enjoy that tradition and as we think about keeping each other safe during spring term after such a long, dismal winter, let’s commit ourselves to translating the energizing moment of the Jackson Katz event into true momentum and commitment.

Dare to care.

Deb Southern, Dean of Students

Lori Schroeder, Associate Dean of the College and Title IX Coordinator


Deb Southern
Lori Schroeder

Tags:  gender equality Jackson Katz Knox College sexual assault prevention

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