What is the No More Campaign? Interview with UW President Laurie Nichols

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and #DenimDay, Her Campus Wyoming interviewed President Laurie Nichols about No More, the new sexual assault awareness campaign at UW. We wanted to learn about the campaign’s goals and what students can do to help fight sexual assault and domestic violence on campus.

 

HC: What is the No More Campaign?

“No More is a campus-wide campaign that will raise awareness in order to decrease incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault on campus.”

 

HC: How does No More plan to end domestic violence and sexual assault?

“I started by calling a meeting with the individuals that deal with sexual assault on campus; from there, we had an open discussion about where UW is and where we want to be. Sean Blackburn, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, worked with STOP Violence and SAFE Project to pull data and find where the holes in our system were. Then we started campaigning everywhere we could: basketball games, public announcements, orientations and trainings, giving out shirts and stickers in the Union, in an effort to spread awareness among students on campus. We also developed a sexual misconduct training for all employees of the University so they know what to do when sexual assault occurs. Our goal is to ultimately educate the masses, and we will continue to unfold new advertisements with the campaign.”

 

HC: What does "No More" mean for students and faculty on campus?

“For students, we hope that they don’t just watch. We want them to participate! Today we asked students to wear denim in lieu of Denim Day that honors sexual assault survivors. We also hope that they wear the stickers and the shirts and talk about the campaign on social media. The more awareness, the better! We have created a YouFund to build an emergency fund that will be used to offer resources for sexual assault survivors. The STOP Violence office will hold this fund and allocate money to students and staff that need their assistance. Our goal is $1,000, so if you have some money to spare, I encourage students to donate!"

"Through both students and staff, we are trying to create a culture where sexual assault is not tolerated by men or women. We need everyone to buy into the movement if there is going to be any change. We want our employees to be trained so that if a student confides in them, they know exactly how to address the situation. Basically, we want our employees to be resources for students that might not have anywhere else to turn.”  

 

HC: What does sexual assault and domestic violence culture look like?

“On my side, I see the actual incidents when I read the reports, and I saw that the incident rate is just too high on our campus, both for male and female victims. I want everyone to feel safe on our campus so they can focus on their education. The other part of sexual assault culture is the offhand and inappropriate jokes or comments that students tend to spread. Often, their peers will just laugh or look the other way. If we are going to make a change, these comments cannot be tolerated. The signs are very subtle and not easily recognized, but if we allow these comments, what’s next? We have to stop the comments before they become actions.”

 

HC: How will the No More Campaign add to the domestic violence and sexual assault resources we have on campus such as STOP Violence and SAFE Project?

“The No More committee attempted to assess both the need and the resources we have, then see if they are matched. This is where the idea for the emergency fund came in; we have the STOP Violence and SAFE Project programs, but this fund will allow them to provide more resources and assistance to students in need. Our ultimate goal is to bring our resources together and make sure that they are capable of addressing the need.”

 

HC: What do you wish people knew about sexual assault and domestic violence?

“Sexual assault and domestic violence happens everywhere. It happens in high schools, colleges, the workplace. It’s embedded in our culture and our society. This is why we can’t look the other way and deny it. We have to acknowledge that sexual assault is not okay and that there are no excuses. Only then can we be diligent in bringing down sexual assault and domestic violence incidents.”

 

If you want more information about sexual assault and domestic assault resources at UW, check out STOP Violence or call the Dean of Students Office at (307) 766-3296.

 

 

Cover photo credit: UW Student, Tyler Wolfgang

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