Within the first six weeks of school, students nationwide are statistically more vulnerable to sexual assault and violence, a period known as the Red Zone. This semester, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) launched a project to help create awareness, support sexual assault survivors, and foster a community of consent on campus.
Using clever wordplay with appealing graphics, the WSA promoted a series of workshops at the beginning of the semester aimed at training students to be resources for survivors and their peers. The WSA also provided training for student group leaders to spread the culture of consent.
Rebecca Hutman ’17, WSA president, was inspired to launch Project No Red Zone after hearing about the initiative at a national student leadership conference. So far, she says that her team has been happy with the inaugural project, but it may take a longer period of time to measure the results. “The goal of the project is to embed a culture of consent in di erent places around campus, starting with a cultural shift and attitudinal change, which can be hard to measure,” she explains.
Workshops to learn about the university’s resources attracted 50 percent more students than last year. During Orientation, student leaders wore Project No Red Zone buttons and passed out information to incoming freshman about the sexual assault and survivor resources available on campus.
“Educating our classmates about the Red Zone made them realize it’s not just one high-risk time of the year,” she says. “The threat doesn’t go away now that the beginning of the semester is over. So it’s been the goal of the WSA to not forget about the risk of sexual assault throughout the school year.”