Ferris is inviting first-year FSUS students to attend Relationships, Respect and Resources for a sexual misconduct presentation.
On Sept. 16, University counselor Andrew Slater and Violence Prevention Coordinator Raven Hills will be co-hosting this informative event. Students may attend virtually or in person.
“The presentation will be presented in a hybrid format with students able to attend in-person in the Williams Auditorium or view the presentation virtually on Zoom simultaneously,” Hills said.
Slater and Hills aim to familiarize new students with Ferris’ efforts to foster a safe environment on campus.
“It is a requirement from the state that all first-year students go through some sort of training around what resources are on campus, and then information about consent and sexual misconduct,” Hills said.
Along with members of the Title IX Office, Anti Violence Alliance and Personal Counseling Services, every Ferris student plays a role in cultivating a safe and supportive campus setting.
“I hope students feel hopeful and empowered [by this event]. This training isn’t meant to shame or scare anyone,” Slater said. “We hope that students will leave with a sense of responsibility and a box of tools and strategies they can use to look out for one another. I hope to inspire students, letting them know that they can make real change on their campus through their actions.”
According to Hills, teaching students about the concept and surrounding nuances of consent is especially important as the new school year begins.
“This time of year on a college campus, especially for first-year students, is what’s known as the Red Zone. So, this is when the incidence of sexual misconduct is really high,” Hills said. “The [overall goal] of this presentation is to help reduce some of those incidents on campus by providing information about what healthy relationship communication looks like.”
Alexandra H. Solomon from Psychology Today explained that the ‘Red Zone’ begins when students first arrive on campus in late August and ends as students leave for Thanksgiving break. During this time, female first-year students make up the demographic most at risk of sexual violence.
Outside forces that make this time of year more dangerous include newfound freedom from parental supervision, the lack of cohesive and protective friend groups and inexperienced use of drugs or alcohol.
The Student Well-Being Blog of John Hopkins University insists that, despite these contributing factors, no incident of sexual violence is the survivor’s fault.
“Sexual violence is always…the fault of the person who chose to interact with another’s body without that person’s express consent,” it reads.
Slater believes that students, with the proper information, are fully capable of helping guide one another throughout this dangerous period.
“I know when I came to college, I had no idea that sexual violence happened so frequently. I was pretty sheltered…I think this training is valuable because it shows a more realistic landscape of the problem,” Slater said.
FSUS students may attend Relationships, Respect and Resources in Williams Auditorium or via Zoom at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16.
For further information about this event, students may contact their FSUS instructors. More resource information on sexual misconduct and counseling is available at all AVA events.