In light of recent events in the media surrounding sexual assault, the University of Wisconsin Hillel hosted a discussion Thursday to talk about these issues on the UW campus.
The conversation, titled “It’s on us, too,” focused on hookup culture, rape culture and relationships both at UW and in the Jewish community on campus.
Before everyone got into a large group, there was a gallery walk, showcasing different statistics and recent articles from the news about sexual assault allegations.
University Health Services victim advocate Ashley Schmuecker was also present during the discussion in case students wanted to talk with her during or after. Schmuecker also highlighted the resources on campus available to students through UHS and the Rape Crisis Center.
Through a large group discussion and small group activities, students brought up when and how to stand up, as well as effective ways to call people out who are in the wrong.
UW senior Molly Galinson said it’s important to create a space where it’s okay to call each other out when someone is in the wrong.
UW senior Eva Bernstein echoed this sentiment but mentioned how it’s important for more men to step up and speak out.
“I feel calling out is often put on the shoulders of women,” Bernstein said.
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UW senior Ethan Friedman asked what men need to do in order to be allies in these situations.
Paying more attention and being more aware about what those around you are saying or doing are both important steps men must take to do better.
“Sometimes not standing up — our silence — reinforces that this [behavior] is acceptable which is not OK,” Galinson said.