Correction: The article previously said Denim Day was on April 25. The story has been corrected as Denim Day is on April 24.
Several campus organizations and activism groups celebrated Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Denim Day.
Denim Day is celebrated on April 24 and Sexual Assault Awareness Month is observed all of April. Organizations including Nevada Cares and the student-founded Speak Safe campaign tabled outside of the Joe Crowley Student Union to raise awareness about sexual assault on a national and campus-wide level.
Speak Safe initially began as a class project from a proposal, according to Speak Safe account executive and founder Rena Doyle. In addition to Doyle, Speak Safe was started with Ashlyn Rochester, Kaila Dowd, Jennifer Scriver, Kylee Spencer and Anna Walsh Lipparelli.
“Ashlyn [Rochester] and I are both survivors, and we wanted to start a project that could help other survivors know their many options in the aftermath of an assault, and offer support,” Doyle said in a message to the Nevada Sagebrush. “Our mission statement, crafted by our six members, is: To educate and inform sexual assault survivors of their options for safe resources to confide in. We provide confidential student support to help survivors in choosing what their next step is. We have a series of 5 steps to help guide people to find their best choice in the aftermath of an assault or harassment.”
In addition to tabling for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Speak Safe posts on a blogging platform to share their stories and share resources. Going forward, Speak Safe looks to expand their campaign long past the graduation of the founding members.
“We have a list of volunteers that want to help out with our campaign, and many have reached out to publish blogs discussing their stories,” Doyle said. “In the future, we hope to grow our project to a large number of volunteers in order to support survivors and refer them to the best resources for their individual situations. Over summer, we aim to develop more merch such as stickers and bracelets, and keep up our social media presence to provide more awareness for the UNR community. Even after our six team members graduate in the coming years, we want to see Speak Safe continue our legacy of support and positivity for years to come.”
Nevada Cares also made it out for Denim Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, tabling alongside Speak Safe outside the Joe Crowley Student Union. Nevada Cares passed out stickers with slogans such as “Consent should come before you do” and “Consent should be proud and bold just like love.”
Nevada Cares also participated in the “Walk In Her Shoes” event in Nye Canada Plaza on Thursday, April 26 hosted by the Department of Residential Life and the Residence Hall Association. The event was described on a flyer as “a privilege walk in high heels with a community resource fair.”
For more information on Nevada Cares, please go to nvcares.com.
Olivia Ali can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @OliviaNAli.