Sexual Assault on College Campuses: The Men Making a Difference

Sexual Assault on College Campuses: The Men Making a Difference

2 Men Who Are Doing Great Work on Campuses I had the privilege of speaking again at St. Joseph’s College in Long Island in November. I really love this school and their commitment. The staff is committed to dealing with sexual assault prevention and response head on. They realize that this is not just a box they can check on a checklist and declare it “handled.” They have a lot of great speakers throughout their semester. And they have Father Frank. This is the coolest priest I have ever met. He teaches at the Long Island campus; he speaks, and he helps run a halfway house and a church. I don’t think he sleeps much. He is one committed guy. The contact I had the honor of working with, Bryan Gill, who is the director of Student Activities and among many other responsibilities. Bryan told me Father Frank does an amazing talk about his life experience and about making choices and choosing to count your blessings. Several other students told me that Father Frank’s talk was not to be missed, so I hope that I will get to see him “do his thing” soon. I have been in the personal growth and development world for over 20 years. There are many good-hearted, hardworking, committed people in helping professions. I have worked with more women than men. I am a big believer that if a person helped you, even if it was just for a day or a week, then be grateful. I am grateful that I am open to men and women. The more I study gender, media, addictions,...
Comedic Motivational Speaker Part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation

Comedic Motivational Speaker Part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation

LAS CRUCES - College is often a place where young adults face difficult situations for the first time. Comedic motivational speaker Elaine Williams visited New Mexico State University to share her experiences and strategies to help students avoid common pitfalls. Williams is a comedienne and certified life coach who speaks at colleges around the country and shares her story of sexual assault and ways students can avoid dangers that put themselves at risk. She uses her comedic talent to engage audiences on how to have fun and be socially safe. “This is such an important topic that I wish all students could hear the message,” Williams said. “I don’t preach. I tell my story in a humorous and powerful way and explain how I overcame some bad choices. I also educate about how to avoid becoming a victim.” Williams also gives tips about being balanced in the college environment, how to have a successful college career and how to relieve stress and unwind without abusing substances. According to Williams, her goal is to help students embrace the challenges of student life in healthy and moderated ways. Williams’ motivational speaker appearance is part of Aggie Welcome and Orientation, which takes place each fall. This year’s activities include an AggieSplash event at the natatorium, an Aggie Hoedown at Corbett Center and an improv show at the Corbett outdoor stage. “I am thrilled the university asked me to be part of Orientation week and that NMSU has such high regard for its students that it’s willing to tackle and address these issues out in the open,” Williams...
Motivational college speaker helps uplift Washburn students

Motivational college speaker helps uplift Washburn students

Students recently had the opportunity to hear from motivational college speaker, Elaine Williams, in the Washburn A & B room of the Memorial Union. There are several organizations responsible for sponsoring and organizing events. Williams was brought here by the Campus Activities Board. CAB had to set up the event well in advance. “They first contacted my agent and I said that I would love to come and speak,” said Williams. Throughout the year, CAB hosts events and games on campus. Sierra Valdivia, a junior was the one in charge of contacting Williams’ agent. “The group last year went to a conference and chose Elaine out of a bunch of different comedians,” said Valdivia. Like many speakers, Williams wanted to try and change the way students viewed things. She focused on drugs, sex, alcohol, and sexual assault. Many speakers use personal stories as a way to connect with their audience. Williams was no different and knew that these topics were serious. However, she also used comedy to keep the audience engaged. The statement, “think it through,” was seen by many as being the theme of the speech. It was repeated multiple times throughout the evening. Williams provided tips on how to reduce stress and improve focus. She also gave advice about staying safe when attending parties. “I hope they remember my rules like always go out in groups and never leave your drink unattended. Even if it is just water,” said Williams. The majority of the people in the audience were freshmen and peer educators in the WU 101 class. This is because the event qualified as one of...
Thank You, UVA

Thank You, UVA

Thank you, UVA! Thank you for making some new rules when it comes to parties. Ok, Great! So progress is being made with all of this awareness. And one of the gifts of the Internet is that we get our news faster than ever before and we can help make more people aware of dangerous issues. Issues like binge drinking and sexual assault on college campuses. I LOVE it that UVA fraternities are creating all of these new rules for their parties. I am not quite sure how they are going to make sure the new rules will be enforced. Rules that say that sober brothers will be guarding the stairs leading up to the residential part of the frat house and that a private security officer will be checking people in with a guest list. If that really happens, I think that will help everyone “party safely.” When I do my Alcohol Awareness Talks on college campuses, one of my points about alcohol is that it is the most lobbied, advertised drug in the world. And when it is consumed, it affects every organ in the body, which includes the frontal lobe part of the brain where we do our “logical” thinking. Which is why it’s a great practice to have sober drivers and sober brothers and sisters and chaperones when possible. However, this is just the beginning. We have all got to change our conversations in this culture. In a recent study, 1 out of 3 males admitted that they would be okay with forcing sexual intercourse on someone, but that they would not call it rape....
Progress Not Perfection….

Progress Not Perfection….

I am so happy that colleges are doing more to educate and help prevent sexual assault. I truly am. It seems like more people and organizations are talking about sexual assault prevention and response attempting to educate more students everywhere. And in the recovery and therapy world, we always say that awareness is the first step. Acknowledging the problem, issue, or behavior we want/need to change is the start of it all. And then there is discussing the problem. This is an important step too. And it’s usually way more powerful to discuss issues in groups and get different opinions and theories. And it’s helpful to have each “side’ represented and have professionals too to guide the conversations. Many times there is a huge gap between knowledge and the study of something vs. real actual “street smarts” or experience. I know that many colleges have hosted “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and that often times guys wear high heels in a parade or route around campus in order to raise awareness about date rape and sexual assaults. I admire their willingness to look goofy and be vulnerable. Great idea. And I have always thought highly of the Native American concept of Don’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile or a month in their shoes. But I have to wonder how much of these “Walks” make a difference. Do you think that seeing a bunch of guys walking around in heels helps with prevention? Again, I am not negating the walks. I am sure they create more awareness. But I also know how hard headed I was...
Inspiration From Facebook and William Smith College

Inspiration From Facebook and William Smith College

There is a new Facebook page that totally inspires me. This is from The New York Times: “Support for a College Student Grows After a Rape Complaint Is Dismissed” “William Smith Stands With Anna.” How cool is that? A bunch of alumni and current students did not like how their college was handling a rape report, case, and investigation, and they took positive action that made a difference. In a world that often supports the accused and makes fun of the victims, I am pleasantly surprised by this show of support for a student at a college. I never wanted to be one of those “crazy liberal cat ladies” who look for phallic symbols everywhere and take feminism to the extreme. And I often pride myself on being able to see several sides of an argument; however, the more I read about and study the college campus rape issue and the way the media reports on rape, the more I am becoming hyperaware of language. Steven Smith of ESPN was taken off the air for one week because of his comment regarding domestic violence, asserting that women need to be careful not to provoke the men around them. This guy is a major sports TV personality. And it’s 2014, right? Luckily someone else spoke up, and Mr. Smith had to make an apology on the air. His kind of comment belongs with the “Well, she shouldn’t have dressed like that” comments. I understand that some women do dress a bit “loudly” at times. And it has always bothered me when women dress a certain way in order to emphasize...