Confronting campus violence
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Steve Budke '10 left for law school, but his commitment to ending gender violence persists at St. Cloud State.
The "Why are you taking a stand against gender violence?" posters he helped design are hanging in hallways throughout campus.
View the poster (PDF), which was funded by a Department of Justice grant from the Office on Violence Against Women.
The poster campaign, which features photos of and quotes by seven student-athletes, is a collaborative effort of students and staff at Husky Athletics and the Women's Center.
"I think one of the most powerful things about the poster is that it features athletes. Athletes are leaders on college campuses," said Budke, who was a graduate assistant and employee at the Women's Center during the 2010-11 school year.
Budke, who hails from Little Falls, is a first-year student at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. He holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature with a minor in Women's Studies.
In his final semester at SCSU and then after graduation, Budke worked internships with Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance and the Stearns County Domestic Violence Court.
"We tried to find people who are good leaders, good role models," Budke said.
Jeff Hegle, head coach for Men's and Women's Swimming, recruited student-athletes for the poster campaign in his role as life-skills adviser for Husky Athletics.
Featured on the poster are:
Robinson's quote reads: "Because it's time we stop ignoring a cultural epidemic."
Festler's quote, "Because 1 in 4 is too many," speaks to a statistical estimate reported in September by national policing consultant Rana Sampson.
Sampson argues that over the course of a college career -- which lasts an average of five years -- the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions could be between one-fifth and one-quarter. View the study (PDF).
During the 12-month period ending June 30, 15 sexual assaults were reported to the Women’s Center. Four occurred on campus and eleven occurred off campus. Read St. Cloud State's 2010-11 sexual assault report (PDF).
Since 1989, the Women's Center has been regional pioneer in the fight to build awareness about sexual assault and gender violence.
The center provides direct services to victims, pursues policy change on- and off-campus, and delivers educational programming to reduce and prevent violence. Among its educational efforts is Rape. Aggression. Defense. (R.A.D.), a self-defense program for women.