This week’s Campus Celeb is sophomore dance major, Livia Rice. Livia was among the first students to stand up against sexual violence and assult on campus by creating a petition on change.org to bring awareness to Point Park about how students feel about Sexual Violence and Assault.
HC: What motivated you to stand up about this issue?
LR: “Personal experiences with daily sexual harassment and friends who have suffered from extreme sexual violence motivated me to speak up. I believe that a lot of female issues are pushed to the side because people have become so accustom to the way things currently are in a political and social sense and I think we need to start challenging these outdated beliefs. We can start by challenging rape culture – an issue that leads to the death of millions of women each year.”
HC: What do you expect others to gain from your endeavors?
LR: “I hope that others gain more understanding about what rape culture is and actions that contribute to rape culture. I am hopeful that Point Park students, administration, and professors will reconginze that this is obviously a prevalent issue even on a campus as small as ours and that we should not tolerate excuses for rape culture.”
HC: What new policies would you like to see implemented by the university?
LR: “I would like to see the university implement a step-by-step plan for disclipling students who represent the university in leadership position when they post sexist, racist, or homophobic views on social media. They should make said plan for disclpline accessible to all students. Additionally, I believe the university should put greater emphasis on eliminating rape culture and sexual crimes.”
HC: What is your petition? What are you hoping to prove through it?
LR: “My petition is on change.org and says: ‘Recognize that a majority of college students do NOT believe that clothing is justification for sexual assault.’ I am hoping to prove that most people do not excuse rape and I also want to show victims of sexual crimes that they are not alone in their fight to end sex crimes. Sexual assault is arguably one of the most psychologically damaging crimes and has often led to the suicide of victims so showing survivors that they have support is absolutely imperative.”
HC: Do you have anything else to add?
LR: “I would like to thank Her Campus for organizing a Sexual Violence Awareness Week. At Point Park we need more organizations to address social issues like sexual assault and Her Campus has taken an important first step by aiming to educate students on sexual assault.”
If you are interested in signing Livia’s petition, you can do so here.