University of California students and staff are using what they learned at a recent conference to improve peer education for the prevention of sexual violence.
Nearly 200 attended the Symposium on Peer Education in Prevention of Sexual Violence at the Davis campus April 3, one of the university’s activities highlighting National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“Students and staff were able to share ideas and gain the tools to go back to their campuses and advocate for improvements,” said Sam Alavi, a student leader from UC Davis who helped organize the event.
Alavi, who is director of Advocacy and Student Representation for the Associated Students of UC Davis and undergraduate vice chair of the UC Student Association, said delegations from each campus will continue to meet as groups to improve programs on their campus.
A collaborative effort
The event was a collaboration of the UC Student Association, Alavi’s ASUCD office, the UC President’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault, and campus offices for sexual assault resources and education.
The event was sponsored by UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, the UC Office of the President and the UC Student Association.
Alavi said the symposium successfully highlighted how the approach to peer education and sexual violence prevention needs to be informed by social justice, cultural competency, and how various forms of discrimination can interact and overlap.
Students led workshops
Workshops, many student-led, offered how-to’s for improving presentations and topics such as:
- Rights and reporting for graduate students who have experienced sexual harassment
- Traits of healthy relationships
- Helping a friend who has survived a sexual assault
La Shonda Coleman, director of college programs for the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, was the keynote speaker.