Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the first ever California Student Summit on Campus Sexual Assault.  At the gathering, university and college students from around the state developed recommendations and shared their perspectives with key stakeholders at a listening session at the state capitol.  Especially given that the summit took place in the first days of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I was thrilled to facilitate a group focused on prevention.  Among the many highlights, I particularly noted:
1)  Passion for prevention – the students came to the summit with endless energy and enthusiasm for prevention.  As my fellow preventionists can attest, we often find ourselves reminding people that violence is preventable.  Not necessary with this group!  They came looking to prevent violence and change campus cultures to foster health and safety.
hearing room photo2) Events – I’m always impressed with the extent of activity on college campuses and this group was no exception.  Mere minutes into working with this prevention-focused group, a student handed me a paper with a list of activity after activity taking place on her campus this SAAM.  From Vagina Monologues to programs about men and rape culture, the students quickly began sharing their many, many events and efforts on campus.  Sure seemed to me that campuses are quite the place to be for prevention!
3) Comprehensive prevention – Students valued a comprehensive approach to prevention.  From public safety and risk reduction to culture change strategies, they advocated for holistic approaches on campus.  Never short of examples and insight on how to create effective, sustainable change, they focused on positive approaches across campus to change campus culture and environments.
…and those are just a few highlights – imagine being there in person!  This summit truly inspired me. I was endlessly impressed by the students, their energy, and their insights.  Our campuses are in good hands this SAAM and onward.