Photo by Caleb Revill / Reporter
The MTSU June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students hosted the BaeWatch Beach Party on Tuesday to raise awareness for bystander intervention, resources for sexual assault victims on campus and healthy dating practices.
The JAC provides support services for female and nontraditional MTSU students with the purpose of enhancing self esteem, intellectual growth, leadership development, discussing gender issues and appreciating diversity. The center also sponsors sexual assault awareness programs, such as the bystander awareness program, titled The Power of One.
The party included giveaways, prizes and quizzes to test students’ knowledge on topics pertaining to sexual assault, safe alcohol consumption and bystander intervention.
A DJ played music throughout the event, and burgers were grilled for students attending the party. Several volleyball nets were set up across the lawn, along with cornhole games.
Barbara Scales, the director of the JAC, attended the party and explained the reason that the center organized the event.
“The goal in having this event is for educating students in a fun and informative way,” Scales said.
Abbigail Thompson, an MTSU junior and Student Government Association senator who helped in organizing the party, stated the importance of supporting those who have become victims.
“I’m out here, showing my support for women and men who have been victims of gender-based violence,” Thompson said. “We’re trying to spread the word against it and make a difference on campus.”
Thompson also explained the significance of the “four D’s” used in bystander intervention.
“We have Direct, Delegate, Distract and Delay,” Thompson said. “These are all ways that you can intervene if you see something that’s wrong on campus. If you direct, then that means you’re going to be direct, and you go up and you say something or you do something. If you’re not comfortable with that though, you can delegate. That means telling someone else and getting someone else involved with you.”
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 11.2 percent of all graduate and undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation. Only 20 percent of female student victims between the age of 18 and 24 report the incidents to law enforcement.
Due to the fact that BaeWatch was one of MTSU’s Connection Point events, many students attended to socialize and meet new friends.
“I came out to see what was going on,” said freshman Terry Wheeler. “It’s important to stay in a group and make sure that everyone is watching out for each other.”
“I’m volunteering for student government because I’m a senator (for SGA),” said Delanie McDonald. “Abbigail Thompson is (assisting) one of the creators of this event, and she’s a senator. So, we’re volunteering because of her and what she’s doing out here.”
MTSU has a “No Closed Doors” policy, meaning that victims of sexual assault cannot be turned away from seeking help. MTSU provides many options for students who wish to contact help. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to utilize MTSU’s resources, which can be found here.
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