Photo by Alexis Marshall / Assistant News Editor
The June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students recently won a $10,000 grant from the Avon Foundation to help create new programming at MTSU for bystander intervention training.
June Anderson Center Director Barbara Scales said that hundreds of universities across the country applied for the grant. The meeting for grant recipients was split into eastern and western regions. Scales said that at the east convention held in Atlanta, Georgia, MTSU was among 12 schools that received the grant.
Scales said that the grant will help create new bystander intervention programming at MTSU using the school’s “The Power of One” curriculum. She said the June Anderson Center plans on creating new videos to use during training sessions and at CUSTOMS.
“I think it will be more powerful for students to see their own peers in these videos on our campus,” Scales said.
Previously, the center used videos from American University in their training sessions. The new videos are in production and feature MTSU students in various scenes that could warrant bystander intervention, including dating violence, sexual assault and hazing. Money from the grant will also go to hire two MTSU students, Abbigail Tracy and Cody Lester. Tracy contributed to the scripts for the new videos.
“I am very committed to making the world a better place,” Lester said. “ If people are educated (about bystander intervention) It’s going to make life better for everyone.”
Both students have passed legislation in the Student Government Association, according to Scales. Lester passed a bill that requires all SGA senators to go through bystander intervention training. Previously, this was only required of SGA executive board members and Presidium attendees.
Tracy and Lester also aided the Interfraternity Council’s “It’s On Us” week earlier this month that raised awareness for campus sexual assault.
Scales said that the grant would help create a new connection point event in the fall called “Baewatch.” The beach-themed event will be a partnership between the June Anderson Center, Health Services, the Title IX Office and other campus organizations interested in promoting healthy social and relationship habits.
The grant money has also helped the June Anderson Center develop social media campaigns for the future. MTSU’s “The Power of One” now has public accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Scales said she hopes that the new social media accounts for Power of One will help spread awareness about bystander intervention and give students access to resources on campus.
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