SG aims to spread sexual assault awareness before OU game weekend

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Photo Credit: Alexander Thompson | Daily Texan Staff

Student Government approved a joint resolution Tuesday night to work with the University of Oklahoma in promoting sexual assault awareness before the annual football rivalry game in Dallas this weekend.

SG will work with the UT Interpersonal Violence Coalition and OU’s student government on Joint Resolution 2 in the next few days to spread information on sexual violence and bystander intervention before the Texas vs. OU game on Saturday.

The OU game weekend is a “red zone” weekend, meaning students are at a higher risk of sexual assault, according to University-wide representative Charlie Bonner.

“(During) OU weekend and other large football weekends, we always see a spike in the amount of reports of sexual assault, especially when we’re going out of town and on overnight trips,” Plan II senior Bonner said. “There’s such a large increase in risk, so with that we need to be extra vigilant and make sure that people have the resources they need.”

SG expanded an existing sexual assault awareness campaign on Oct. 4 by passing out fliers, speaking to organizations and promoting a social media campaign in anticipation of the hundreds of students traveling to Dallas this weekend. 

Resolution co-author Madison Huerta said SG is taking advantage of the excitement surrounding the weekend to discuss issues related to sexual assault and could spread needed awareness to students during a dangerous time.

“Sexual assault and interpersonal violence happens on campuses all over the country and, whether we want to recognize it or not, it happens on the OU campus and the UT campus,” business senior Huerta said. “Sexual assault is something that could be 100 percent prevented.”

Fifteen percent of undergraduate women had been raped and 28 percent of undergraduate women had been victim to unwanted sexual touching during their time at UT, according to a study released in the spring. 

Resolution co-author Ben Solder said although sexual violence affects a relatively small portion of the population, it should never be ignored.

“You can’t solve problems unless you’re aware of them,” neuroscience junior Solder said. “The purpose of this resolution is to call attention to the fact that this is still a problem.”

Bonner said working with OU may help to decrease instances of sexual assault and ensure that people have the resources they need in case of an incident.

“There aren’t a lot of things we can agree on with OU, but this is definitely one of them,” Bonner said.