On March 20-23, NSU will participate in a national Week of Action to focus on issues including sexual assault, harassment and gender discrimination. The Week of Action was created by a non-profit organization called It’s On Us that works to change the culture around campus sexual assault.
NSU’s Week of Action includes a Trans Advocate Lecture and Discussion with speaker Rebecca Norris on March 22 at 5 p.m. in the Cane River Room of the Student Union. Norris will discuss some of the primary issues the transgender community faces.
“I’m going to briefly do a trans 101, basically giving people basic information–who transgender people are, the problems they face, especially around the school environment, grand statistics on sexual assault and hate crimes,” Norris said.
Norris’s main goals for the event is to deliver a sense of comfort for the transgender community and to teach students that “transgender people are exactly the same as any other person.”
“They have the same desires and work in the same professions as doctors, lawyers, scientists; every profession has somebody who is transgender,” Norris said.
She emphasizes the importance of how to approach a transgender person that could be dealing with assault or harassment.
“Teaching students what transgender people are and what they face allows them to understand them more, and by understanding them more, gives students the ability in the future on how to properly approach someone who is transgender; they are better able to handle the situation in a proper and correct way,” Norris said.
Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance President Meg Denny is one of many participants who will help lead and guide the Week of Action on issues concerning the transgender community.
“I really want to start a dialogue on NSU’s campus with student leaders and the administration about how we can be more accepting and how to make the transgender community feel safe on campus,” Denny said.
Demons Support Demons, a student organization that works to end sexual assault and harassment, is one of the sponsors for this year’s Week of Action. President Pearlie Jones will discuss the importance of consent and how to report someone when they experience or witness sexual assault.
“We really want to educate students on the importance of consent and what it actually is,” Jones said. “Most importantly, we want to educate students on how to report if sexually assaulted.”