Stickers with resources for victims of sexual violence are popping up in University bathrooms in an attempt to give students and faculty a private place to access resources they may need.
The green and white “We believe you” stickers, which appear on some bathroom mirrors in Gregory Gym and the Recreational Sports Center, are the result of Student Government legislation co-authored by Charlie Bonner, former University-wide representative, nearly a year ago.
“Our initial proposal was to have these resource stickers in every bathroom on campus to make sure we were getting the resources to every single person possible,” said Bonner, a Plan II and government senior. “We should be doing everything we can to support these survivors … so they can stay in school and get an education like the rest of us.”
The stickers list contact information for Voices Against Violence, the Counseling and Mental Health Center, the Behavior Concerns Advice Line, the Title IX investigation office and University Health Services.
Bonner and other co-authors of the legislation said they want the information to be a consistent reminder of the support available to victims.
“Every time you wash your hands, you see (the sticker), and you know it’s there,” said Katherine Stadler, UT alumna and co-author of the legislation. “Some people don’t want to pick up the little pamphlets and brochures and walk around with them in their bag. People don’t want to broadcast it to the world.”
The initiative aims to protect victims’ privacy, said Stadler, former justice of SG Supreme Court.
“You’re more likely to seek help if you don’t think anybody else will know about it, which is sad,” Stadler said. “If it comes to the point (where) you’re not going to get help because you don’t want anyone to know about it, then I would rather provide you the resources where you can get help privately.”
While sticker resources are only being implemented in two RecSports locations, Bonner said he hopes to eventually have them in every bathroom on campus, despite the University’s concerns about its facilities having to implement and maintain the stickers.
“RecSports was so generous to pilot (this initiative) and show the University that this really isn’t a hindrance on its facilities,” Bonner said. “It’s something that we should expand in the future to make sure that most people have the access, especially in places like dorms and areas where people spend a lot of time.”
Jennifer Speer, director of communications, assessment and development at the Rec Center, said helping students implement these types of initiatives is part of their job as administrators.
“Historically, we as a staff are expected to meet with students, listen to ideas and see the feasibility of anything,” Speer said. “Some things can’t come to fruition, but if we are able to do it, we will work within our power to get things done.”
Despite setbacks from administration, Bonner said he and his team are determined to see the project impact the whole campus.
“We would be willing to do whatever is necessary to see this program expand,” Bonner said. “I’ll go put up all the stickers myself.”