Letter to the Editor: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

At a time when the difficulties associated with being a university student are growing, it is important to recognize the impact that sexual assault and violence has on the ability of individuals to fulfill their potential as students and as members of society.

Given the alarming trends of sexual misconduct and assault on college campuses, it is essential that institutions of higher learning foster organizations and programs designed to reduce the risk and long-term impact of sexual assault and violence. As the risks of sexual misconduct and assault are present for all members of a university community (undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff) these programs must be designed in such a way to be supportive of a diverse population. At Kent State University, such organizations and programs are crucial in realizing several elements of our strategic road map, including “Students First,” and “Organizational Stewardship.”

Given the importance of such organizations and programs designed to reduce the impact of sexual misconduct and assault, the Kent State University Graduate Student Senate would like to express support for the Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS). This office has been instrumental in providing important and timely resources to all members of the Kent State University community who have experienced this very intimate and traumatic form of violence. In particular, the Graduate Student Senate supports SRVSS’ efforts with Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

With the widespread issue of sexual assault on campus, where women are up to four times as likely to be sexually assaulted than the general population, the Senate commends SRVSS for their work in the SAAM effort to spread awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault and how to find resources to address this serious social issue.

It is the hope of the Graduate Student Senate that Kent State University and the SRVSS office continue their work to make our university community a safer environment for all graduate students and our fellow community members. The Graduate Student Senate would like to thank the SRVSS office for their work with Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

As we encourage all graduate students and other university members to take the opportunity to acquire important information about sexual and relationship violence this month, we would also like to highlight that keynote speaker Tarana Burke will be speaking on the #MeToo movement on April 16 in honor of April’s theme “Embrace Your Voice.” It is our hope that all university members will join us and support those affected by the movement.


Kent State University Graduate Student Senate (GSS)