Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Title IX office enacts social justice campaigns

Plattsburgh State’s Title IX office has planned a busy spring semester, with about 19 events and three social media campaigns scheduled.

February is Consent and Black History Month and will be kicked off with the RADIUS Black History Month social Media Campaign. Each day on social media, RADIUS, PSUC’s LGBTQ program, will feature Black Queer individuals and their contributions to Queer liberation. The Title IX Social Media Campaign will follow that later this month and will devote seven days to recognizing and highlighting black individuals who fought to end sex and gender discrimination.

“We’re really focused on trying to connect with people through multiple media,” Title IX Coordinator Butterfly Blaise said.
RADIUS kicked off its packed agenda with an ice cream social on Feb. 7.

Consent Week begins on Sunday, Feb. 11 with mandatory clubs and organizations training. Attendees will have a choice of attending either the StepUP! – “Be a Leader, Make a Difference” training, which focuses on teaching proper ways to intervene when witnessing violence on campus, or the Title IX as a resource training, which focuses on teaching how the Title IX office can help students and how to best utilize those resources.

As part of Consent Week, Title IX representatives will table in the Angell College Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 to 16, selling consent candygrams. They will deliver these only to faculty and staff, said Dinai Robertson, violence prevention education and outreach coordinator. So, those who want to deliver one to a student will have to deliver it on their own. All proceeds from the consentgrams will go to victims and survivors of sexual violence, according to the Spring 2018 Title IX Events calendar.

“When we ask the faculty or staff person, ‘would you like to receive this consentgram,’ they have to give explicit consent in saying yes or no, and we prompt the students who are giving it to other students to ask for consent, too,” Robertson said. “I think that’ll be fun, and it’ll start normalizing asking and receiving consent.”

Title IX will host Sex Positive Jeopardy on Feb. 13 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Alumni Conference Room. Tickets are $1 at the ACC desk. These proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood Sexual Assault Services. Concepts will include consent, sex positivity, student rights and how to report sexual violence.

“We’re trying to get Greek organizations involved,” Robertson said. “So, we want to have four teams of Greek organizations, but if anyone else is interested, they can always contact me and say they want a Jeopardy team.”

RADIUS will host its Valentine’s Day Slumber Party on Feb. 14 in the Alumni Conference Room. The club posted a public service announcement about this event on YouTube. The link can be found on the spring 2018 Title IX Events calendar.

“People can bring their partners and their friends. They can do facial masks, paint their nails, do karaoke, eat, have fun; we’ll all be in the College Center,” Robertson said.
The Consent Carnival will take place Feb. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Conference Room. Tickets are also $1 at the ACC desk, and proceeds will again go to Planned Parenthood Sexual Assault Services.

“We will have a photobooth so people can come write why they love consent and take pictures with it,” Robertson said. “And there will be tables with local and on-campus organizations that work to combat or end interpersonal or sexual violence.”

Organizations that the Title IX office hopes to have at the carnival include the Center for Womyn’s Concerns, Planned Parenthood Sexual Assault Services, Omega Phi Beta Sorority, STOP Domestic Violence and possibly a couple more, Robertson said.

At about 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, as part of the Consent Carnival, Title IX and Fuerza, the Black and Latino Student Union, will host the game show 12 Corazones y Consent, which is based off the Spanish-language game show, 12 Corazones. Six teams of two, often couples, will answer questions about their partners to show how well they know them.

“We have a married couple; we have best friends. The president of the college is going to play with Keith Tyo, and we have a few couples who are dating on campus,” Robertson said.

The Title IX office, in collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion, will bring Consent and Black History Month to a close on Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warren Ballroom with the Third Annual Title IX You Matter Celebration.

In an email to the campus community on Jan. 29, Blaise wrote that PSUC was the 2017 recipient of an Office for Violence Against Women Grant, intended to reduce sexual, domestic and dating violence on campus.

“The grant was written specifically to increase our efforts to the LGBTQ community and to women of color,” she said in an interview. “Two important aspects of how we are utilizing that money will be connecting with community partners and our people on campus who are collaborating.”

These groups and organizations could include Housing and Residence Life, University Police, New York State Police and the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Robertson said she plans on leading about 60 training and education sessions this semester on Title IX issues, violence prevention, healthy relationships, sex positivity and how to intervene when witnessing violence on campus. Last spring, Robertson conducted more than 70 of these sessions. She is now located in Beaumont 440.

Planned Parenthood Sexual Assault services will be in Beaumont 302A on Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. Behavioral Health Services North’s STOP Domestic Violence will also be on campus Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“What we’ve been encouraging people to do is come to us if you have questions; we’re here,” Blaise said. “I want people to know that we’re a resource, and there are other resources on campus, and our doors are always open.”

Email Kody Mashtare at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

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