Post by Brianna Isaacson ’15
There is a new student group on campus dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual assault. SEGway (Survivor Empowerment Group) was founded this fall by University of Rochester students Emily Sumner and Alisa Jimenez. The goal of the group is to educate our campus about sexual violence and to provide support for survivors. While the group has only existed for a short time, they have been extremely busy:
- Along with Title IX Coordinator Morgan Levy, SEGway drafted an open letter to the UR student community which clarifies on- and off-campus resources for victims of sexual harassment or assault
- Stop. Ask. Clarify free hug campaign promoting the importance of consent
- Created this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJkY_BuAH7o) to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- Made appearances on WXXI-TV and NPR
- Plans for next semester include a lecture by Professor Estrada of the psychology department about consent; participating in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes; and a student ambassador program.
The group has been highly collaborative across the entire U of R community, having worked on events with student groups (PRIDE, Sigma Psi Zeta, SALSA, Women’s Caucus) and various offices on campus (Health Promotions, Student Conflict Management, Title IX). The response from students, administrators, and the community has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s inspiring to see people taking action and demanding change without needing the catalyst of national media coverage of a campus sexual assault scandal (as we’ve been seeing on the news so frequently).
The group meets on Mondays at 7pm in the O’Brien conference room to plan their events and host discussions about topics including domestic violence, revenge porn, and the University’s sexual assault policy. To stay updated on what SEGway is doing, check out their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/URSEGway).
SEGway E-Board Fall 2013:
President – Emily Sumner
Vice President – Jessica Cowan
Secretary – Celine Anand
PR/ Membership – Hannah Greenwald, Lizzy Seltz, Brinna Ludwig