UO sexual violence skit burns down the house

8/3/2014: Victor Flores has the story in the ODE:

The curtain was still smoldering when law enforcement arrived, according to a UOPD officer.

7/25/2014: Info on Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team’s sexual violence performance

There’s a minor debate in the comments about the effectiveness of theater as a way of changing student attitudes and behavior regarding sexual violence. I’m just an economist, but I’d bet a randomized trial would show this can be more effective than many alternatives, and that it should be a big part of the mandatory programs UO will be developing. The director of SWAT, Abigail Leeder, sends this explanation of her program:

My name is Abigail Leeder and I serve as the director of the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team. Someone just pointed me to the UO Matters blog comments about SWAT. I appreciated what I think might be your comments about theater as an educational tool. I have to admit that I am biased in this regard as I do believe it is an effective educational modality precisely because it does engage students on an emotional level around a topic that IS extremely emotional.

There is some mis-information about SWAT in some of the comments. The summer production of the play “It Can’t Be Rape” actually IS required for all incoming students who come for IntroDUCKtion and has been for over 10 years. This education is then supplemented by the on-line training tool that all students take before coming to campus which reinforces the messaging from the summer performance. It is correct that currently during the school year SWAT interactive peer-education workshops are scheduled by request – however, we are working on some outreach efforts targeted at communities that we think would benefit from the workshops. The peer educators present at classes, residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses and student organizations when requested (approximately 30-40 presentations per year). If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for one of your classes we would be happy to come in!

We all know we are up against huge cultural programming about sexuality and rape supportive beliefs. The SWAT trainings and the additional community engagement, speaker series’, campaigns and programs that I have been working on on this campus for nine years likely do not provide a completely adequate antidote to 18 years of cultural programming and it is not possible that they will completely eliminate sexual violence on our campus. However, I know that there is always more to do, and am appreciating the current campus dialogue that is engaging many more people around this issue. Perhaps together we can really make a difference.

There are two more sessions this summer of the SWAT play at IntroDUCKtion. Is there a chance you could make it to one of them? Thursday, July 31 and Sunday, August 3 at 4pm in the EMU Ballroom.

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4 Responses to UO sexual violence skit burns down the house

  1. Stillsickaboutit says:

    Those curtains can eat a bowl of dicks

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  2. Undergrad Again.... says:

    Also, I went through an alcohol module, but never a sexual assault/ awareness one. It would have to be newer than 2011….

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  3. Undergrad says:

    ” The summer production of the play “It Can’t Be Rape” actually IS required for all incoming students who come for IntroDUCKtion and has been for over 10 years. This education is then supplemented by the on-line training tool that all students take before coming to campus which reinforces the messaging from the summer performance.”

    I am a senior at the UO, and I went through IntroDUCKtion the summer of 2011. Because I am am and Oregon resident and was already familiar with the campus, I was NOT made to attend many of the events IntroDUCKtion had to offer, and so of course I didn’t, seeing as it was summer and I felt lazy.

    I very much doubt this play is reaching ALL of the students because this is the first I’ve heard of it. Just something to think about if people are looking for stats and thinking about surveys….

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  4. Law Professor says:

    My comments were responsible for raising the issue of SWAT, and I am afraid my annoyance at the U of O adm suggested that SWAT’S efforts were unimportant. I apologize, and thank U of O Matters for giving Abigail Leeder this forum.

    That said, the main point stands. The U of O should make a serious effort at educating students on sexual harassment/violence on a regular basis, and not just rely on a volunteer theater group. Does anyone really disagree with this?

    I refer people to the pathetic “Groves Report”, commissioned, at some expenses, by Robin Holmes. First, Groves was not told NOT to assess student education around these issues. He writes “I did not review any training programs for students”–why not? The only one he heard about was SWAT – because it is the only one the U of O has – which he was told “reaches a very small audience each year.” End of story.

    Failure to educate about policies renders them meaningless, and constitutes non-compliance according to federal law. We should begin with a study of how much students know already (if the U of O puts such reliance on SWAT, why hasn’t it bothered to assess if effectiveness?) and then institute meaningful education.

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