WCU marks SAAM with discussions, a movie, trainings and more

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Western Carolina University is holding a number of free events in observance.

The Office of Intercultural Affairs is sponsoring events through April 13. For more information on these events, email sacarter@wcu.edu.

  • Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in the UC Multipurpose Room, the Office of Intercultural Affairs will host “GLOW – Great Expectations? Women & Sex.” The forum will examine everyday portrayals of sex and the effects on relationships. REACH of Macon County (which also serves Jackson County) is co-sponsor.
  • From noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, on the UC lawn, WCU will participate in the Clothesline Project to increase awareness of the impact of violence against women. Shirts for decorating are available on the third floor of the UC and also will be available at the event.
  • At 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, the film “Water for Elephants,” which has an element of domestic violence, will screen on the UC lawn. Prior to the film, there will be a discussion of “red flags” and “green lights” of relationships.
  • Individuals are encouraged to wear denim on Friday, April 12, as part of “Jeans Day,” a sign of protest inspired by the Italian Supreme Court’s overturning of a rape conviction in 1998.
  • Through May 8, the Office of Intercultural Affairs (UC 334) and the Center for Service Learning (Belk 273) will be collecting shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and hand sanitizer for the clients of REACH.

The Office of Intercultural Affairs also is sponsoring two-part Safe Zone certification sessions: Part I, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, UC Catamount Room; Part II, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, UC Cardinal Room; and Part II, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, UC Cardinal Room. Safe Zone certification offers attendees increased awareness and sensitivity to issues of gender and sexuality. To register, email safezone@wcu.edu.

Angie Song is helping coordinate SAAM events from her position in the WCU Office of Disability Services, where she is a staff interpreter and support specialist. She is involved in the effort “to bring an end to the culture of silence regarding sexual assault and to create a network of resources for victims and potential victims,” Song said. To register for any of these events, RSVP to Song at awsong@wcu.edu.

  • Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Training sessions will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the UC Cardinal Room and 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 29, in the UC Catamount Room. Participants will learn to assist victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. The workshops will provide information regarding victim’s rights, medical and community resources and dissemination of information. Co-presenters will be Andreina Hall, court advocate and Latino outreach coordinator, and Jettana Thomas, victim advocate, both of REACH of Macon County (which also serves Jackson County).
  • Self-defense training, sponsored by the Office of Disability Services and Women’s Studies, will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the UC Multipurpose Room. The class, led by Aubrey Ray, a health and physical education instructor in the WCU School of Teaching and Learning, will focus on personal safety awareness and physical defense techniques.

Also in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an information table will be set up on the second floor of the UC throughout the month of April.