SPEAK, CARE announce programming updates during community meeting
November 7, 2016
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Students Promoting Education, Awareness and Knowledge for Change has opened up membership to students who are not survivors of sexual assault, the group announced at a meeting Tuesday.
During the Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence’s fall meeting, Medill junior Emagin Tanaschuk, the group’s head, said SPEAK for Change decided to open the group to allies to increase activism and have more perspectives contributing to the group. SPEAK is a group focused on supporting survivors of sexual violence.
“When it started a couple of years ago, (members) wanted to keep it within survivors because they wanted to be anonymous,” Tanaschuk said.
Since expanding membership, Tanaschuk said more students have reached out to her to join the group.
“People just want to get involved in some kind of way,” she said.
SPEAK was one of several groups present at the CCSV meeting, where faculty, students and community members discussed updates to resources and programs for survivors of sexual violence. The coalition is led by Erin Clark, assistant director of the Center for Awareness, Response and Education.
The coalition, which meets each quarter, brings together representatives from different organizations and individuals to discuss issues surrounding sexual violence, said Paul Ang, coordinator of men’s engagement for CARE and a coordinator of the CCSV student advisory board.
“As with any social justice issue, it can’t just be one office or group of people responsible for helping end that injustice or violence,” he said.
Clark also informed attendees about CARE’s decision to reinstate a trauma recovery group for survivors of sexual violence, which launched last year.
Clark also said she has seen an influx of students, particularly freshmen, reaching out to CARE. But she said the increase in students does not reflect an increase in sexual violence, but rather improved knowledge of campus resources.
Groups such as Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators, Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore and members from other university departments also gave updates about initiatives during the meeting.
Clark said the CCSV aims to make student more aware of resources on campus and within the community.
“I hope there will be a synergy around the work to address sexual violence,” she said.