Like many of his peers, senior Colin Higgins knows “far too many people” who have been victimized by sexual violence. He and two classmates decided the time was right to do something about it. So the week of April 10 has been designated Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness Week on campus.
With Heidelberg’s launch of the It’s On Us campaign this semester, Colin has organized a series of events around the theme. The idea became his Senior Honors Project.
“Colin has done an excellent job of orchestrating a variety of events for the week,” said Dr. Robin Heaton, assistant professor of communication and his faculty advisor.
Additionally, Colin has worked closely with John Sharp, assistant director of counseling and disability services, to promote the events as the third and final week of the It’s On Us campaign.
“Momentum has been building through the semester. With these events, incentives and messages, it’s going to be bigger and better, and hopefully participation follows,” John said.
The week offers events for students, staff and faculty – everything from an art exhibit to a movie screening to bystander training to a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” charity fund-raiser.
“The events are an easy way for Heidelberg to show the broader community what we stand for,” says Colin, who’s quick to credit classmates Bethany Beaver and Gaby Poliseno for jumping on board to help plan and execute the events. “This is not a one-man show,” he says.
Colin received a $1,500 grant from Heidelberg’s philanthropy class competition in the fall semester to design and carry out next week’s events.
Ideally, Colin hopes the week feeds into the It’s On Us movement and keeps it moving for the coming years after he graduates.
“If we change one mind, it’ll be worth it,” he says. “I’m excited to see how it turns out.”
Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness Week Schedule of Events
Monday, April 10 -- Presentation by Dr. Jenny Reichert and Dr. Pete Martini. Topic: Sexual violence in the LGBTQ communities with Q&A. (4 p.m., Herbster Chapel)
Monday, April 10 -- Screening of Fantastic Lies, a documentary examination of the accusations of sexual misconduct against the Duke University lacrosse team that were ultimately found to be baseless. Free pizza and drinks (7 p.m., The University Commons)
Tuesday, April 11 -- Bystander Training, facilitated by Stephen Svoboda and Dr. Robin Heaton to learn how to be an effective bystander. Co-sponsored by Zeta Theta Psi. (11 a.m./3 p.m., Campus Center 120 or Herbster Chapel)
Tuesday, April 11 -- Walk a Mile in her Shoes, a fund-raiser to raise awareness about the serious causes, effects and remediation to men's sexualized violence against women. Participants will walk a mile around the Hoernemann Stadium track to benefit Tiffin's Patchworks House. Prize money for the student organization and team with most members present. (6-7 p.m., Hoernemann track)
Tuesday, April 11 -- Quiz Bowl Night with some questions about rape and sexual assault. All are welcome in teams of 3-7 people. First prize $100. Email Colin Higgins at email@example.com to sign up your team. (9 p.m., The University Commons)
Wednesday, April 12 -- Art Exhibit -- all kinds of mediums on display relating to the issue of rape and sexual assault. (All Day, The University Commons; free beer, wine and snacks at 8 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 12 -- League of Women Voters Informational Event for the greater community: effects in the community, how Heidelberg is addressing the issue and how we all can help combat sexual violence. Refreshments. (6 p.m., Campus Center 120)
Thursday, April 13 -- Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training for faculty, staff and students on effective ways to interact with individuals experiencing trauma. (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.)