Assault Awareness Week highlights self-protection

Eddie Glenn

FCorrection: The Daily incorrectly stated a function of the Multicultural Center. The center helps students find counseling resources but does not counsel students.

Frontier Hall students are learning how to keep safe on campus this week for the first Assault Awareness Week.

A group of Frontier Hall community advisers organized events to make the University a safer place for students.

Amanda Hemmingsen, a genetics junior and lead organizer for the event, said that she came up with the idea after taking a self-defense class last semester.

“Then it just ballooned from there,” she said.

Now, the week has grown into five days of different events with movies, guest speakers and a self-defense class.

Hemmingsen said she planned the event with seven other advisers because it is important for students “to be aware of the world around them.”

Wednesday night’s event, Passport to Wellness, featured presentations on safety and cultural awareness around campus. Approximately a dozen people attended.

Sgt. Erik Stenemann of the University Police Department informed everyone of how they can be safer on campus.

Stenemann explained how the campus is relatively safer than the surrounding city.

“If you leave the campus, chances of you being assaulted increase by about 30 percent,” he said.

Yet, he said the University still can be dangerous. For example, he said, students put too much information on thefacebook.com. People in law enforcement have begun calling the site “thestalkerbook.com” because of it being misused, Stenemann said.

“Even cops are cruising thefacebook nowadays,” Stenemann said.

Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence coordinator Michael Duenes, who presented, said anyone can be a victim of assault and it can completely disrupt the student’s life.

Duenes said the Multicultural Center helps minority students on campus with counseling those who have been assaulted.

“Assault can impact a student personally as well as academically,” he said.

Duenes said that is why the Multicultural Center is important.

The center offers tutoring and can discuss the situation with professors and advisers on the students’ behalf to help the student recover academically.

OutFront Minnesota speaker Rebecca Waggoner-Kloek said Assault Awareness Week is vital to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community because society lacks a safe place for assault to be discussed.

“One out of every four of the girls in this room will be assaulted within the next year,” Waggoner-Kloek said.

Gretchen Haselbauer and Anne Cascalenda, both first-year students, attended Wednesday night’s presentation.

Haselbauer, a journalism student, said she especially liked Waggoner-Kloek’s presentation.

“She was honest but not over the top,” Haselbauer said.

She said Waggoner-Kloek shared information she had never heard before.

The main lounge in Territorial Hall is the stage for almost all the events this week. There will be a self-defense class today and a rootbeer kegger Friday night.