After receiving notice by the University of Tennessee Police Department of several sexual assaults that have occurred since the beginning of the school year, one organization is seeking to educate UT students about the red zone.
The red zone is the time from the start of the fall semester until Thanksgiving break when college students face a greater risk of sexual assault. Under these circumstances, one campus organization has decided to do something to change that.
Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT), an organization that is associated with UT Sex Week, will be hosting a sexual assault prevention workshop. The workshop will have different sessions. Some sessions include information on relationship and dating violence, active bystander training, consent and communication, assault in the LGBTQ+ community and information from the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee.
Nicky Hackenbrack is the Co-Chair of SEAT. She said she believes the workshop is important to all UT students.
“Students need to start taking responsibility for changing campus culture and making campus a safer and more welcoming place for all,” said Hackenbrack. “Every student can be an active bystander, and every student should ask for consent during every sexual encounter. The workshop will impress upon students that sexual assault, relationship violence and power-based violence of any kind will not be tolerated on our campus and can be prevented in many different ways.”
Jordan Achs, an executive board member of SEAT, said she hopes the workshop clears up red zone misconceptions.
“Many people treat this as a strange person running around campus trying to rape people, and this isn’t the case,” said Achs. “Most sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances, making active bystanders crucial. If you see a situation where someone looks like they could be taken advantage of, say something.”
Overall, Achs wants UT students to further the discussion.
“I hope people become more comfortable with the concepts of consent and active bystanding as well as learning what our campus’s interim sexual assault policy is,” said Achs. “Our slogan is “Just Talk About It,” and that’s what we want people to start doing.”
The workshop is on Sept. 20 from 9:30a.m.-2p.m. at the Howard Baker Center.
Edited by Maggie Jones