Students Work to Prevent Sexual Assault on College Campuses
Students at UC system campuses, including UC San Diego, are working to prevent sexual violence on college campuses. Earlier this year, the University of California Student Association (UCSA) launched an awareness campaign entitled “UConsent,” focused on the importance of consent in sexual activity through a three-pronged approach: awareness, education and advocacy.
The online pledge offered by the campaign has been signed by students throughout the ten UC campuses, including many UC San Diego students. The UC San Diego Associated Students Office of External Affairs has established a UConsent campaign committee, which works toward effectively informing and organizing students about UConsent and sexual assault prevention. The committee is working alongside Triton Lobby Corps, a campus-based entity of students who engage students and advocate on legislation and issues, to educate students on legislation related to UConsent. The group also collaborates on campaign efforts with various units across campus, in particular, the Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Resource Center (SARC).
“UC President Janet Napolitano, the UC Board of Regents as well as leaders across the system and at UC San Diego are increasing efforts to prevent sexual violence at UC campuses,” said Allyson Osorio, vice-president of AS External Affairs. “Now is a great time for students to get involved in this issue that impacts not just UC San Diego or UC students; it affects all students.”
In addition to UConsent, the “It’s On Us” campaign launched by President Obama in September, designed to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses, is an initiative UC San Diego has embraced. The “It’s On Us” campaign works with colleges and universities to develop the best practices for prevention of sexual assault. Similar to UConsent, a pledge asks individuals to make a personal commitment to being part of the solution to campus sexual assault. Many organizations at UC San Diego have taken the It’s On Us pledge, and are helping promote the initiative.
Even before these two campaigns were launched, UC San Diego has long provided students with opportunities to become involved in reducing incidents of sexual assault.
According to Nancy Wahlig, director of SARC, the center offers free and confidential services for registered students affected by sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking as well as provides workshops on violence prevention for the entire UC San Diego campus community.
Gayatari Kuppa, a sophomore in Thurgood Marshall College and one of SARC’s student interns, said her involvement with the center has had a very positive impact on her life.
“I love this job,” Kuppa said. “Not only have I been able to share valuable information and knowledge with fellow UC San Diego students, but I have been able to incorporate this information into my life... It has taught me about healthy behaviors and healthy relationships of all types.”
SARC is available 24/7 for students who are affected by crime. Students can reach SARC after hours and on weekends through the UC San Diego Police non-emergency number 858-534-HELP (4357). For more information, visit the SARC website.