By Amy Ng
A recent Washington Post-Kaiser Foundation survey found that 20% of college women (and 5% of college men) have reported being sexually assaulted during their years in University. In fact, a Journal of Adolescent Health study found that 19% of these victims are assaulted in their freshman year. There is no doubt that sexual violence is a difficult topic of conversation to breech, but Meghan Hearns, Assistant director of Athletic Academic Advising and Karen Quackenbush, Associate director of Assignments at NJIT Resident Life are determined to break down these walls in the interest of creating a safer and smarter NJIT.
These two women lead the Highlander Health Educators, a group of students whose goals are to bring about an awareness of what university students can do to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. Their main initiatives include mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, healthy eating, and of course, sexual violence. In tandem with their “Consent is Sexy” campaign for safe sex on campus, they’ve created and started selling the ever-popular “Men of NJIT” calendars.
These calendars celebrate male figures of the University that don positive behaviors and attitudes regarding women.
Rajeet Das, a senior Civil Engineer and current Student Senate president made an appearance in the 2015 issue of the calendar.
“In my culture, an action even as small as putting your foot anywhere on a woman without apologizing is considered taboo… Whether she is a mother, a professor, a classmate, or a stranger, every woman deserves to be treated with care, sensitivity, honesty, loyalty, and respect. Every male on this campus should strive to be a “Real Man” by providing every woman he encounters with such treatment, day in and day out,” he imparts.
The Highlander Health Educators are currently accepting nominations of men who embody these values, by taking a stance against sexual assault. Self-nominations are encouraged, and will be accepted until October 31st, 2015. Visit ‘http://goo.gl/forms/yvs4ZcI5BW’ to fill out your nomination. If you have any further questions about the project, please contact Hearns at firstname.lastname@example.org or Quackenbush at email@example.com.