Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

On Sept. 26, West Chester University’s Women’s Center decorated the campus with umbrellas to honor RAINN Day. According to RAINN’s website, or the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, RAINN Day is their “annual day of action to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses.”
“The whole point of RAINN Day is to raise awareness about sexual assault and the violence that happens in society, but it’s a really difficult topic to talk about,” said Maggie Eder, graduate assistant of the Women’s Center. “The reason we do umbrellas is so that people can take it as they go. We don’t want to force the conversation; people should talk about it at their own time.”
The Women’s Center helped WCU participate in RAINN Day by placing white umbrellas painted with statistics about sexual assault and urging students to get and give verbal consent.
The fact-covered umbrellas dotted the campus, with many of them being scattered throughout the academic quad and around other buildings like the Sykes Student Union.
“I didn’t know what the umbrellas were about at first,” said WCU student AJ Arcaini. “But it definitely made me curious enough to look into it.”
“Sexual assault is really prevalent on college campuses, including West Chester,” Eder said. “We’re doing a lot to educate about sexual misconduct, but what we really want is to just make people more aware. People just don’t know how to talk about this stuff, and for that reason, rape and sexual assault cases have become too common, just because communication has broken down. We just wanted to make people at least a little more comfortable talking about it.”
In an effort to help educate WCU students further about the importance of consent, the Women’s Center is hosting an upcoming Consent is Sexy program. Consent is Sexy is the theme of the Women’s Center for both the fall and the spring semesters, because the staff at the Women’s Center wants to stress the significance of giving and receiving consent so that students better understand what they individually are comfortable with doing.
Students interested in learning more about Consent is Sexy or any of the other numerous programs offered by the Women’s Center can visit the Women’s Center on the second floor of Lawrence, or visit their website at wcupa.edu/womenscenter.
Clare Haggerty is a third-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at CH757342@wcupa.edu.

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