GU Men of Strength to host Men Can Stop Rape speaker for sexual assault event

Next semester, Georgetown University Men Of  Strength will host a speaker from the non-profit organization Men Can Stop Rape for a discussion about sexual assault prevention on campus.

The event, slated to happen in January, is the brainchild of Sean Foley (MSB ’15). ”This all started with a project for class,” Foley said. “The project was just to make a difference in your community.”

As Foley began talking to friends in the Georgetown community, he saw a distinct need for an open and honest discussion about sexual assault prevention.

“This was something that really struck me as a very emotional issue,” he said. “There definitely was progress to be made.”

Foley decided to address the issue by turning to the experts. He reached out to Jared Watkins (COL), the Development Coordinator at Men Can Stop Rape, a D.C. non-profit dedicated to furthering sexual assault education. Watkins has been working closely with Foley to create a keynote speaker event to share information and encourage discussion among participants.

The discussion will be led by Watkins and will only be open to other men. This is the general policy for all Men Can Stop Rape events, and Foley believes it will be beneficial.”He’s trying to be a little bit specific with the audience to make sure he has the best impact possible,” Foley said. “I don’t think there’s any discrimination.”

Already, the event has garnered much support on campus. Foley received approval from Georgetown’s administration, and is also partnering with the presidents of four fraternities to put the event on.  Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Phi Omega, and Alpha Epsilon Pi will all be co-hosts for the event and will send their members to attend. Foley sees this as an encouraging sign that people want to change the culture around sexual assault.

The goal is to send a clear message to men that it is within their power to stop other students from being sexually assaulted. One of the key topics that Watkins will cover  is bystander intervention. It will train participants to recognize sexual assault when it is going on around them, and instruct them on how to step in.

Foley hopes that this event in January will be the first of many. “The idea is that this is a process,” he said. “And this really sets a foundation culturally and organizationally for a bigger impact going forward.”

As of now, the event is set for the week of January 13, and will take place in Alumni Lounge. Further details about the date and time will be provide through a mailing list.

Photo: David Drexler via Flickr

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