The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

D.C. non-profit facilitates rape prevention seminar

By Katie Havranek

Macalester hosted a two-day “Men Can Stop Rape” training session for 23 faculty and students last weekend, Feb. 7 and 8. The anti-sexual assault seminar was put on by the non-profit organization, Men Can Stop Rape, based in Washington, D.C. The organization was brought to campus by Keith Edwards, Director of Campus Life.The initial proposal was to send a few Macalester students and faculty to Washington, D.C. to the annual trainings held by Men Can Stop Rape.

“The interest was so large, we found it would be cheaper to bring them here than to send ten people to DC,” Edwards said.

The two-day all-day sessions were held in the Fine Arts Lounge and included activities, scenarios, and engaging with others. Women made up a little more than half of the group of faculty and staff that engaged in exercises that facilitated discussions about overt cases of sexism as well as the more subtle cultural issues involving sexual assault.

The end of the second day was devoted to separating into groups to discuss ways to take action on campus. Committees will be working on programs for April-which is sexual assault month, revamping the “When Hello Gets Out of Hand” program for new students, and a “Got Consent?” media campaign.

Only one senior applied and was accepted into the program as the goal of the seminar was to kick-start more direct action towards preventing sexual assault on campus. A large number of first-years attended the seminar.

“Hopefully this will be the beginning of their efforts of sexual assault prevention on campus and these folks will be motivated, active, and inspired to get involved on campus,” Edwards said.

“[Men Can Stop Rape] usually does a great job talking about a wide range of issues such as racism, homophobia, and transgender issues as sexual assault,” Edwards said.

“We talked a lot about masculinity and roles as well as sexual assault on campuses,” Rashi Sabherwal ’12 said.

The focus of the seminar was what men can do to prevent sexual assaults through discussions of culture including subtle things about the environment while taking an in-depth look as masculinity and sexism.

“There is a certain sense of responsibility that comes from men, if it was just women the discourse is about protecting ourselves. Well, it’s not just men’s responsibility, it’s ours too.” Sabherwal said, “Their sexuality is repressed, that’s something that I’ve never heard of-how those ideas influence them.”

Macalester students can expect to see more in the future concerning sexual assault on campus and what can be done to prevent it.

“We know that statistically, one in four women will be survivors of rape or attempted rape, we like to think that Macalester is different-but I’m not sure that it is,” Edwards said.

“It made a difference because it started up initiative,” Sabherwal said, “A two-day intensive workshop gives all these a concrete strength you have people talking about it and you have people doing something about it.

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