Speak About It Advertising Campaign - A Work In Progress

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Speak About It Advertising Campaign

  

Trust, Concern, Respect

 

Speak About It Poster Advertisement

 

This advertising campaign is an extension of my third web event pasted below.

A Response To President Creighton's Email "Sexual Misconduct Awareness"

My web event is a response to Joanne V. Creighton's (Haverford's Interm President) email earlier this evening. Please see her email below, followed by my response.

Dear members of the community,

It has come to my attention that several messages posted as part of a sexual misconduct awareness campaign were vandalized in a way that at the least trivializes sexual assault and at worst seems to promote it.

It is difficult to understand these actions in light of the values articulated in the preamble to our Honor Code: 

“As Haverford students, we seek an environment in which members of a diverse student body can live together, interact, and learn from one another in ways that protect both personal freedom and community standards. If a diverse community is to prosper, its members must attempt to come to terms with their differences; this goal is only possible if students seek mutual understanding by means of respectful communication. By holding us accountable for our words and actions, the Honor Code acts as an educational tool, instructing us to resolve conflicts by engaging others in dialogues that yield greater awareness for all parties involved. By encouraging respectful conduct, we hope to create an atmosphere conducive to learning and growing.”


I hope that those responsible for this defacement will take ownership of their actions.  Meanwhile, the Deans, the staff of the Women's Center and I are eager to do all we can to make our sexual misconduct policies and procedures responsible and effective. Please reach out to us --- and to student leadership -- with both your concerns and your constructive ideas.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Joanne V. Creighton

Interim President

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The rightness of a relationship can be measured, ultimately, only by whether it is felt to be right by those concerned.

-       John. A Humbach[i]

 

President Creighton,

I am concerned. This doesn’t feel right…

The recent sexual misconduct awareness campaign led by Survivors Of Assault and Rape (SOAR) is a powerful example of respectful confrontation to our student community. As a friend to and classmate of the individual responsible for the idea of this campaign, a participant in the chalking and posting of the campaign’s messages, and a survivor of sexual assault, I have been both appalled by and disappointed in the disrespectful responses by some of my fellow students.

My largest concern is that this behavior is in gross violation of our Honor Code. This past spring, we re-ratified the Code, pledging that we continue to believe in the Code and its integral place at the center of what makes our community special. Most applicable to my concerns here is the following excerpt from Article III, Section 3.03, “The Code makes it possible for a climate of trust, concern, and respect to exist among us, a climate conducive to personal and community growth.” The Code, itself, is not what creates, fosters, and strengthens this climate. We, the students who live with and by its tenants, do. Without our individual and collective commitment to embodying the Code every day, the Code is nothing more than words that once meant something.

We create a right relationship as a student community when we live honorably. We maintain a right relationship as a student community when we confront each other for violating the Code. We reaffirm our right relationship as a student community when we re-ratify the Code, with or without amendments and modifications.

When members of our student community express frustration about being targeted as rapists by the posters we spread around campus, modify the posters that read, “Consent. Just do it.,” to “No Consent? Just do it.”, and tell me that I couldn’t possibly have been sexually assaulted at Haverford because “that just doesn’t happen here,” I worry. Their responses reveal their disrespect for members of our community who have experienced sexual assault and their unwillingness to listen and engage with this very serious community issue. 

I believe we must consider sexual misconduct education and support both integral pieces of creating and fostering trust, concern, and respect on our campus. Every student deserves to feel safe in their dorm room, in hallways, on pathways, and all other social spaces. Each of us is obligated, in my opinion, to be educated bystanders in social situations where the possibility of sexual assault exists. We need to confidently intervene in situations where we recognize this possibility. “The bystander model gives all community members a specific role, with which they can identify and adopt in preventing the community problem of sexual violence. This role includes interrupting situations that could lead to assault before it happens or during an incident, speaking out against social norms that support sexual violence, and having skills to be an effective and supportive ally to survivors.”[ii]

This begins with sexual misconduct education as an entering first-year student. Each freshman needs to understand the relationship between the tenants of trust, concern, and respect in our Code with the importance and value of sexual misconduct education in fostering a feeling and reality of safety at Haverford. 

Though, Customs Week is hardly the first moment in which they begin to think about what our Code means. Each applying student in our community writes an essay about the Honor Code when they complete the supplement to the Common Application to Haverford. Each admitted student signs a pledge on their honor instead of being asked to submit a deposit to confirm their admission. Each matriculating student entering our community is asked to read and sign the Honor Code before arriving in August. In each step of the process, a prospective member of the Haverford community is implicitly asked to reflect on our tenants of trust, concern, and respect. They must think about how their own life, before Haverford, reflects these values. They are encouraged to think about how their own life may be living with the Code while at Haverford. Throughout Customs Week, especially during “Super Honor Code Day,” Customs folk offer them perspective on how students live with the social code so that they may think about how to engage in a respectful manner with fellow students in residential halls, the classroom, the dining center, the playing field, the Go! Boards, and every other space on campus.

Since I entered as a first-year student in August 2009, Customs Week has had an excellent informational component about sexual misconduct through informing freshmen of the resources available to them around “The Circle” and from their Customs folk. The 2011 Customs Week Committee, of which I was a member, and the Deans’ Office are responsible for the more recent inclusion of an educational component to the sexual misconduct portion of Customs Week. Speak About It was the group invited to campus to give the class of 2015 a presentation on “consent, sexual assault, and bystander education” this past August. The presentation was amazing. Many first-year students I spoke to that afternoon thanked me for helping bring them to campus. Many current students talked to and/or emailed me in September to ask about the presentation and expressed their disappointment at being unable to attend. Many of them wished they had seen the presentation when they entered as first-year students.

I intend to contact Martha Denney, Raisa Williams, and Jason McGraw to ask if there is administrative support and budget funds to bring Speak About It back to Haverford next fall; I imagine they were very impressed by the presentation this past August. I truly hope there are enough funds in the Customs budget to bring them back every August. If not, I implore you to consider the benefits of arming every new first-year student with this education in spite of the cost. Moreover, I would like to advocate for institutionalized funding for this education. 

I believe institutionalizing funding for this sexual misconduct education for first-year students is the first step to help create a strengthened community commitment to safety and mutual concern. I hope and pray that respectful conduct will follow. In regards to the current climate of our student community on this issue, and in light of the negative student responses to the campaign, I think it is urgent to bring Speak About It to Haverford this spring to offer the same education to current students. I am continuing to think about how to encourage every student in our community to attend this event. I would absolutely love to hear from you about whether this might be possible and if you have any ideas to encourage student attendance.

Thank you so much for writing to our community about this issue and for listening to what I have to share here.

Most Sincerely,
Joshua Mussa ‘13

 



[i] Leiser, Burton M, and Tom Campbell. Human Rights in Philosophy and Practice. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2001. Print

 

[ii] Banyard, Victoria L, Elizabethe G. Plante, and Mary M. Moynihan. Rape Prevention Through Bystander Education: Bringing a Broader Community Perspective to Sexual Violence Prevention. xii, 2005. Print.

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I have been thinking a lot about how to maximize attendance at a Speak About It event for current Haverford students. First-year students are obligated to attend all Customs Week events in August, prior to the start of the academic year. I should also mention that Customs Week is a generally amazing experience, as I remember it, and a educationally witty performance about sex, healthy relationships, and bystander education is one excellent component of everything student leaders and administration do to make the transition to Haverford as smooth as possible for every new student. My visuals above, the content below, and every place where I've bolded text with accompanying question marks are my attempts to create advertising strategy and materials for a Speak About It visit to Haverford's campus this spring. Serendip is my homebase for this project. 

Anne and Kaye type it best, "The first thing to keep in mind is that it's not a site for "formal writing" or "finished thoughts." It's a place for thoughts-in-progress, for what you're thinking (whether you know it or not) on your way to what you think next. Imagine that you're just talking to some people you've met. This is a "conversation" place, a place to find out what you're thinking yourself, and what other people are thinking. The idea here is that your "thoughts in progress" can help others with their thinking, and theirs can help you with yours."

This is exactly how I'm thinking about this web event. I have many ideas, but I appreciate any and all ideas from y'all: Anne Dalke, Kaye, charlie, AmyMay, shlomo, phenom1, venn diagram, aybala50, chelseam, Gavi, jfwright, jmorgant, Kammy, alice.in.wonderland, KatieRandall, KimK, lwacker, lgleysteen, Amophrast, leamirella, rachelr, sel209, S.Yaeger, and essietee. A lot of the advertising for this event depends on (e)conversations with staff and administration of the college that will take longer than this last week of the semester. As I converse with them, I'll be updating this web event to keep y'all in the loop of how this project is evolving and where my thoughts are in progress. I consider this web event a testament to the amazing virtual intellectual exchange and discussion that can happen among classmates and learners. Thank you for reading and participating!
 

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John Humbach says,

Right Relationships Excerpt

How does this apply to the Haverford student community? To the Honor Code?

persons: when we speak of “community,” we imply the student body, faculty, staff, and administration, each of which contributes to the collective conception of community standards (Section 3.03)

quality/mutual worth: a climate of trust, concern, and respect to exist among us, a climate conducive to personal and community growth (Section 3.03)

Within the student community, how do the tenants of trust, concern, and respect manifest themselves? 

Typing abstractly, students intra-acting in the classroom, the dining center, the athletic field, the library, and the residential halls choose to be respectful, show concern, and display trust in one another. 

How do these people maintain the quality and mutual worth of their relationships?

According to the Honor Code,

as individuals who are also members of a community, we are obligated to examine our own actions as well as the actions of those around us in light of their effect on the community. If it becomes clear through self-reflection or through expressions of concern by others, that either our academic or social conduct represents a violation of community standards, we are obligated to report our own breach to Honor Council, even if doing so may result in a trial and the possibility of separation from the college (Section 3.03).

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Through self-reflection, I have realized that the ways in which students have responded to the "Consent is Sexy" campaign does not indicate that we, as students, are in right relationship with one another. See jmorgant's third web event for more information about the variety of student responses, as well as the Consent is Sexy blog

We create a right relationship as a student community when we live honorably. We maintain a right relationship as a student community when we confront each other for violating the Code. We reaffirm our right relationship as a student community when we re-ratify the Code, with or without amendments and modifications.

When members of our student community express frustration about being targeted as rapists by the posters we spread around campus, modify the posters that read, “Consent. Just do it.,” to “No Consent? Just do it.”, and tell me that I couldn’t possibly have been sexually assaulted at Haverford because “that just doesn’t happen here,” I worry. Their responses reveal their disrespect for members of our community who have experienced sexual assault and their unwillingness to listen and engage with this very serious community issue. 

With respect to this issue, I believe we must have sexual misconduct education to foster trust, concern, and respect on our campus. Every student deserves to feel safe in their dorm room, in hallways, on pathways, and all other social spaces.

Though, right relationship is more than a feeling of safety. Just as we pledge to the Code, written on our hearts must be the quality and worth of healthy relationships.

My claim

Bystander education and knowledge about healthy relationships are essential for Haverford students to maintain a climate of trust, concern, and respect and create right relationship in the community.

Speak About It

is an excellent way to achieve this. 

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Since I entered as a first-year student in August 2009, Customs Week has had an excellent informational component about sexual misconduct through informing freshmen of the resources available to them around “The Circle” and from their Customs folk. The 2011 Customs Week Committee, of which I was a member, and the Deans’ Office are responsible for the more recent inclusion of an educational component to the sexual misconduct portion of Customs Week. Speak About It was the group invited to campus to give the class of 2015 a presentation on “consent, sexual assault, and bystander education” this past August. The presentation was amazing. Many first-year students I spoke to that afternoon thanked me for helping bring them to campus. Many current students talked to and/or emailed me in September to ask about the presentation and expressed their disappointment at being unable to attend. Many of them wished they had seen the presentation when they entered as first-year students.

They shouldn't have to wish. Speak About It should be invited to campus in the spring semester to present to current students. I'm thankful that the Deans' Office is working on the scheduling for this in spring 2012.

Speak About It should come to campus every spring. There should also be institutionalized funding for students to receive this education. The tools and techniques Speak About It offers our student community are invaluable to keeping ourselves, friends, acquaintances, and classmates safe. A true demonstration of our concern and respect for one another. My appeal for this funding is to President Creighton -  I will continue to be in contact with her about this possibility.

But going back to the planning for Speak About It this spring. My project efforts here are about the advertising and persuasion for current students to attend the performance. I believe (as I hope you, the reader, do) this education is integral to the maintenance of our community standards and want to do everything I can think of to send this message to my classmates. The posters above are some of those ideas (the central graphics are property of Speak About It - Shana was kind enough to give me permission to use them!), as well as the following below.

(A bookmark design - in progress, image TBC)

(A small flyer design - in progress, image TBC)

  • My hope is that the bookmark could be distributed in the bookstore during Shopping Week (January 17 - 20) and the week prior to the performance. Depending on costs, the bookmark could also be distributed at the Magill Library, Science Library, and Music Library to students who check out books. I need to get permission from Lydia Whitelaw, Bookstore Manager, and Terry Snyder, Librarian of the College, to set this up.
     
  • The leaflet, I hope, can be given to each student that:
    - hands their OneCard over to be swiped as they come into the Dining Center
    - fills out a visitor form when they show up for an appointment at the Health Center
    - walks into the Fitness Center for an afternoon run or fitness training activity
    - more ideas???
     
  • These avenues are more unique ideas I have to put into place in addition to a Facebook Event, Go! thread, submission to the Weekly Consensus and Events Calendar, and feature on the Haverford homepage...

    This is a draft of the email I plan to send to Terry Snyder, Lydia Whitelaw, Wendy Smith, Corey Wilkinson, and Catherine Scharbaugh.
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Hello ________,

The November sexual misconduct awareness campaign led by Survivors Of Assault and Rape (SOAR) is a powerful example of respectful confrontation to our student community. As a friend to and classmate of the individual responsible for the idea of this campaign, a participant in the chalking and posting of the campaign’s messages, and a survivor of sexual assault, I have been both appalled by and disappointed in the disrespectful responses by some of my fellow students.

I believe we must consider sexual misconduct education an integral piece of creating and fostering trust, concern, and respect on our campus. Every student deserves to feel safe in their dorm room, in hallways, on pathways, and all other social spaces. Every student is obligated, in my opinion, to be educated bystanders in social situations where the possibility of sexual assault exists.

Since I entered as a first-year student in August 2009, Customs Week has had an excellent informational component about sexual misconduct through informing freshmen of the resources available to them around “The Circle” and from their Customs folk. The 2011 Customs Week Committee, of which I was a member, and the Deans’ Office are responsible for the more recent inclusion of an educational component to the sexual misconduct portion of Customs Week. Speak About It was the answer. Invited to give the class of 2015 a presentation on “consent, sexual assault, and bystander education” this past August, Speak About It performers completely surpassed my expectations.

Many first-year students I spoke to that afternoon thanked me for helping bring them to campus. Many current students talked to and/or emailed me in September to ask about the presentation and expressed their disappointment at being unable to attend. Many of them wished they had seen the presentation when they entered as first-year students.

They won’t have to wish. Currently, the Deans’ Office is working on the scheduling for Speak About It to come to campus this spring. I’m in the process of working on an advertisement campaign for this event. I would like to request your assistance in this project. My hope is to distribute bookmarks/leaflets (similar to the attached PDF) to students:

  • Checking out books from Magill Library, Union Library, and White Library
  • Making purchases (especially during Shopping Week) from the Bookstore
  • Going to an afternoon workout in the Fitness Center
  • Heading to breakfast/lunch/dinner in the Dining Center
  • Checking in for an appointment at the Health Center

The dissemination of event information is meant to attract as many Haverford students as possible. To borrow Judith Butler’s language, the more bodies in alliance by virtue of appearing at the event, the more powerfully a message of solidarity will touch all of us. 

Please let me know if you would be interested in working with me on this project. 

Thank you very much for your support to the Haverford student community!!

 All the best,
Joshua Mussa ‘13

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My hope

The dissemination of event information is meant to attract as many Haverford students as possible to Marshall Auditorium sometime in the spring. To diffract Judith Butler, the more bodies in alliance by virtue of appearing, the more powerfully a message of solidarity comes across to all of us. The message this will send to members of the student community in attendance is that we truly care about educating ourselves to be knowledgable about sex, healthy relationships, and ways of being vigilant bystanders. 
 
At the same time, this will generate greater conversation among students about sexual misconduct on campus - preventative measures in addition to concerning response for those we care about. Our sexual misconduct PAF (Peer Awareness Facilitation) is resource-knowledge oriented, which is wonderful for first-year students becoming acquainted with our community and assimilating into the Haverford culture about seeking out resources. The Speak About It performance goes beyond this. For both first-year students and current students, this greater conversation will help destigmatize open conversation about issues of sexual assault and increase solidarity in our community to help us reconcile, together, the reality of sexual assault incidents on campus with our commitment to support for each another. This, I believe, is where the possibility for the intrinsic good in the justice for right relationship can take place at Haverford. 

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