The low wall outside of the West Library was lined with shoes on Tuesday – one pair for each person that had been sexually assaulted each year on an average campus the size of Texas Wesleyan.
This includes 85 people – 66 women and 19 men, according to the Tx Wes T9 Team, an organization that hosted the Day of Action, Wesleyan’s contribution to the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
In addition to the shoe display, “Sole Survivors,” Wesleyan’s Day of Action included several tables on the mall that displayed different subjects about sexual assault from students, faculty and staff.
Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach gave a short speech about the growing awareness of sexual assault on campus.
“When we actively get involved, we can prevent sexual violence,” Slabach said. “We must work together to educate our community about sexual violence prevention.”
Dr. Alison Simons, assistant professor of sociology, said the Day of Action helps promote awareness of sexual assault on the Wesleyan campus.
“We want students to know what sexual assault is,” Simons said. “Men and women have different view on what constitutes as sexual assault.”
Simons wants to continue the education by giving upcoming freshmen a sexual assault questionnaire to discover what they think it is.
“We want to provide models for freshmen,” Simons said.
The Gay-Straight Alliance participated in the event to discuss misconceptions about sexual assault in the LGBT community, said Dmitri Otrepyev, GSA’s treasurer and secretary.
“The gay community has fewer resources,” said Otrepyev, a sophomore biology major. “It is a misconception that the LGBT community doesn’t have abusive relationships.”
Otrepyev said that gay men have the most difficult time because of how society perceives them.
“It is really hard for them to find resources,” Otrepyev said. “It’s a double whammy.”
Sophomore psychology major Aminaa Munkhbayar said she came to the Day of Action to help raise awareness.
“I did the survey about sexual awareness,” Munkhbayar said. “I got information about sexual awareness and wanted to continue my education about it.”
Munkhbayar thinks the event was important for students to attend the SAAM events to get information.
“Students should go to these events,” Munkhbayar said. “It can help people because sexual awareness is circuital.”