October 16, 2014
Alexa Napolitan '15
Communications and Marketing Intern
Karen Ejiofor '16 and Abigail Smith '17 have joined forces to bring sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and response education to Saint Anselm College.
Both students are ambassadors for the Harvard Institute of Politics National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, selected to bring to light the civic duties of their college communities.
Ejiofor, a philosophy major, and Smith, a politics major, worked on a campus advocacy plan for sexual assault prevention and response over the summer as part of their ambassadorships. They plan to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness month with a weeklong event this coming April, which will include a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® event, in which male students, faculty members, and other volunteers will literally walk a mile in high-heeled shoes. The internationally recognized walk is designed for men to show their support towards ending sexual abuse and domestic violence against women.
Ejiofor and Smith are also planning a flag project, placing one lawn flag on the quad for every sexual assault case reported in the 2014-2015 year. Last year, there were 3,800 reported cases.
Preparations for the event are already underway and include meetings with Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, president of the college, and other college officials.
In the meantime, Ejiofor and Smith were among the attendees of two roundtable discussions hosted by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte at Saint Anselm on Tuesday, October 7.
Senator Ayotte is a sponsor of the Campus Safety and Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation introduced in July 2014, proposed to prevent sexual assault on campus and support victims. Saint Anselm is an advocate for this legislation as well.
"Saint Anselm College recognizes and absolutely supports the need for bipartisan legislation like the Campus Safety and Accountability Act to augment Title IX provisions to prevent sexual assault, abuse and domestic violence on campuses everywhere," says DiSalvo.
The goal of the college, and of the campaign initiated by Ejiofor and Smith, is to empower Anselmians with tools to prevent assaults, reopen the discussion about assault, and spread awareness about the problem that affects people across the country.
"We just want people to know that it is a safe place and that there are resources on campus...there are people that really care and want to keep people safe," Smith says, "But there's this disconnect between the students and these people. We're hoping to bring the two together."