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September 28, 2017
Joe Biden asks UD community to help prevent sexual misconduct
Three years ago, then-President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and Americans across the country to launch the “It’s On Us” initiative — a national awareness campaign to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses.
Obama noted that an estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years, and of those assaults, only 12 percent are reported. The White House shared guidance and best practices with universities and colleges nationwide to make a positive change.
The University of Delaware last fall followed suit with a campaign designed especially for UD. Called “kNOw MORE” — a moniker designed by students — it aims to create a movement that everyone at UD can participate in to support a campus culture of intolerance for sexual assault, harassment and dating violence.
Today, Biden -- a UD alumnus and founding chair of the Biden Institute -- continues his crusade, talking with students around the country. As UD kicks off the second year of kNOw MORE, Biden asked the campus community to get engaged in the issue and stand up against sexual misconduct.
To date, more than 1,000 individuals on campus have taken the kNOw MORE pledge, showing their commitment to knowing more about sexual misconduct and doing their part to prevent it.
“We are encouraged by the progress made and enthusiasm for kNOw MORE in the UD community,” said Adam Foley, associate director in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the department managing the campaign. “But we have more to do. It’s important to reach not only students, but also our faculty and staff, as they play a crucial role in promoting awareness and education. I would love to see every faculty and staff member get involved, attend events, talk about this important topic and take the kNOw MORE pledge to show their support.”
Building on the strong foundation established last fall, kNOw MORE will continue this year buttressing activities, events and messages led by various units on campus that encourage people to become informed about assault and harassment, report incidents of sexual misconduct, ensure consent for all sexual activity, be active bystanders and support victims.
The kick-off event for fall semester will be “American Hookup,” a lecture on Oct. 4 featuring Lisa Wade, a sociologist, essayist and author. The event, which is free and open to everyone, will be held at 7 p.m. in Pearson Hall auditorium.
Well-known for her wide-ranging critique and commentary, Wade appears frequently in major newspapers and on national radio and television news programs. Her newest book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, situates the American college hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education and the unfinished feminist revolution.
Also central to the campaign is student outreach. Approximately 40 students have volunteered to serve as kNOw MORE ambassadors to help spread awareness and positive messages about consent and intervention — including representatives from a diverse group of registered student organizations.
UD senior and kNOw MORE ambassador José Garcia Cintora said, “Having knowledge about campus and community resources relating to sexual misconduct is not only important for yourself but it is essential to assisting others at UD. Using that knowledge, you can become an active bystander and engage in ending sexual misconduct on our campus. It is our responsibility as UD students to create a welcoming and safe home for everyone.”
“As a kNOw MORE ambassador, I look forward to playing a part in the outreach across campus and making sure students know about UD's resources,” said senior Meg Bittinger. “It is our goal to get as many students as possible to not only take the kNOw MORE pledge, but also ensure that they understand what sexual harassment and assault are and how to prevent it.”
Other kNOw MORE events and activities
Pledge drives will be taking place throughout the year; those who sign the pledge — accessible at www.udel.edu/knowmore — will receive a free kNOw MORE T-shirt. Everyone is encouraged to join the conversation, share their commitment on social media and invite others to do the same, using the hashtag #kNOwMoreatUD.
Other events and learning opportunities are planned for fall semester. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Committee (SAPE) has a lineup of film screenings that will include audience discussion. They are:
- Oct. 19 – Moonlight
- Nov. 16 – Hidden Figures
- Dec. 7 – Boys Don’t Cry
All movies will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Trabant University Center Theater and are free. For movie descriptions, see the SAPE website.
For more information
For more information on kNOw MORE and to access University resources related to sexual misconduct, visit www.udel.edu/knowmore.
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