Peer Educators defend project

Liz Campanellea, et al., Peer Educators

The Lawrence University Counseling Services Peer Educators would like to thank the editorial board for inviting us to respond to their staff editorial (The Lawrentian, April 27). We are pleased that editorial staff members have accepted our invitation to meet with us during the practicum hour.The week of April 16-22 was chosen by the Peer Educators and the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Board to recognize National Sexual Assault Awareness month. During that week we: staffed an information table in the Downer lobby, posted stories written by sexual assault survivors on a wall in the union, and displayed t-shirts in the Coffeehouse. Lawrence students created these t-shirts in an effort to express how they were affected by sexual assault, either personally or through the assault of a friend or family member.

We realize that sexual assault is an uncomfortable topic to deal with, and we understand that not all people appreciate being faced with the issue. The Clothesline Project is a national effort to recognize and support those men and women who have experienced the devastating effects of sexual assault. This is the third year we have displayed t-shirts on the Lawrence campus.

This year, while we were hanging the t-shirts at the Coffeehouse, a prospective’s mother walked around and read many of the shirts, and eventually asked if they were for sale. When told that they were not, she decided to copy some of the text to share with her family. She urged us to continue our efforts in increasing awareness of sexual assault issues. Given the responses we have received, and in talking to members of the Lawrence community, it seems that we have been successful.

Our Term III project is Dear Diary, a collection of journal entries written by fictitious Lawrentians. Their journal entries, covering a variety of topics, will change each week. We encourage students to follow the story lines, keeping in mind they are fictional works.

In conclusion, we would like to thank those Lawrentians who responded to the April 27 staff editorial. We want to remind students that the Peer Educators are available as a resource on campus. More information on sexual assault and a variety of issues can be found at Health and Counseling Services and by contacting any of the Peer Educators.

—Liz Campanella, et al., Peer Educators