Campus hosts sexual violence awareness presentation

Kierstin Kirk

Sexual violence awareness has become a prevailing issue on college campuses nationwide, with many facing investigations regarding sexual violence related crimes. 

WKU, like many other campuses, is working to raise awareness and open conversation about the issue. 

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., WKU will host “Sexual Violence on College Campuses: Listening to and Learning From Student Activists” in Downing Student Union 1071. 

The presentation will give attendees an opportunity to discuss sexual violence against women and men of different races and LGBTQ students, and what can be done to prevent the issue. 

Stephanie Gilmore, an activist and writer, is the guest speaker at this event, speaking on a topic that means a great deal to her. 

“I am passionate about the issue of sexual violence on college campuses as a rape and assault survivor, but also as a former professor who has seen too many students who are assaulted on their own campuses,” Gilmore said. 

Audra Jennings, director of Scholar Development, has been planning this event with other organizations on campus since early in the summer. Gender and Women’s Studies, Academic Affairs and the Honors College are among the many co-sponsors of the event.

Jennings shares the same level of  excitement as Gilmore toward this event. 

“I am excited about the message of listening to and learning from student activists and the hope in the reality that students across the country are working to end violence in all forms in their communities,” Jennings said. 

Both are hoping that students learn more about sexual violence on college campuses and actively fight the issue, or just simply be aware of its prominence on campus. 

The following Thursday, there will be a workshop called “Research Matters: A Workshop on Asking and Answering Research Questions” at 3 p.m. in DSU 2123. A question and answer session on sexual violence on campuses will follow at 6 p.m. in Helm Library 100. Gilmore will be speaking at both of those events as well.

“I hope students come to the event with an open mind and a desire to share and learn,” Gilmore said. “I hope women and men understand that I am interested in sharing what I know from other college campuses with the goal of contributing to the goal of ending rape culture at WKU and everywhere.”