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Awareness week to address sexual assault

Ryan Sydlik | Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Notre Dame student government has dubbed this week Sexual Assault Awareness Week, and has planned several featured events to educate University students about sexual assault and other gender relations topics.

The Senate Gender Issues Committee, chaired by Ali Wishon, is responsible for planning the week.

This is the second year for the event, which began when Senate Gender Issues Committee then-chairperson Lizzi Shappell was charged with starting an awareness week challenging the campus to think about issues of sexual assault.

The first flagship events marking this year’s week is “Dating, Relating and the Hook-up Culture,” a performance in which FIREStarter peer educators perform sketches and involve audience members in a presentation designed to address campus relationship and sexual assault issues. The first event took place in Pangborn Hall Monday night and the second will take place tonight at 9:15 p.m. in Farley Hall.

The play “Sex Signals: The Real Life, Funny, Sort-of Improv Show about Dating and Other Stuff” is an educational play about issues of sexual assault and date rape relating to the college experience to be performed Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the Hesburgh Library’s Carey Auditorium.

“Must Sex T.V.,” is a video showing that will take place Thursday, March 30 in various residence halls.

The video uses childhood television shows to “assess how we may have been exposed to gender stereotypes and sexual assault in our favorite programs,” Shappell said.

Shappell said those interested in watching the video should talk to their hall president for more information about showings.

In addition to specific events, Sexual Assault Awareness Week is related to the launch of the newly created Men Against Violence (MAV) group, a Gender Relations Committee (GRC) task force composed of men committed to ending sexual violence and domestic abuse.

“Student Government Sexual Assault Awareness Week has brought together the Student Senate Gender Relations Committee and the Gender Relations Center (GRC), in addition to many generous sponsors, to offer programs and awareness campaigns,” Shappell said.