A discussion-based program meant to directly address the stigmas attached to Title IX, sexual harassment and sexual assault was held on Wednesday by a UAB resident assistant.
Logan Lavender, a third-year resident assistant in Blazer Hall, said that he had originally held the “They Were Asking For It” program during his first year of being a RA, but decided that he wanted to make the discussion annual.
Residence life coordinator Kyle Bivens was also present during the event in order to provide any emotional assistance to students who may be uncomfortable with the content that was presented.
“This is a sensitive subject for a lot of people and Kyle is here today to be a support system for y’all and to help out with the presentation as need be. If, for any reason, you need to step away or you need to talk to someone or you are having issues with the subject matter that will be discussed today, that is okay. You can privately message me on Zoom and I can send you immediately to a breakout room with Kyle. He is here to support you guys, and that’s what I’m here for, too,” Lavender said.
Title IX, a federal law, protects individuals from being sexually harassed, assaulted or discriminated against based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and related retaliation. Lavender talked about the definition and statistics of sexual violence, domestic violence and consent through a PowerPoint presentation while providing discussion-based questions for UAB students to answer regarding the facts.
Many UAB students were surprised at how many Title IX cases were reported and had increased during each academic year. UAB student Michael Blackston said that his main concern was how the cases would be affected after the pandemic.
“It’s just with people being in lockdown for so long, there may be thoughts starting to ruminate,” Blackston said.
Zoe Wink, another UAB student who attended the event, said that more cases could have been increasing due to the fact that students and faculty are becoming more comfortable with reporting the cases.
“I don’t think that just because the numbers are going up that the percent of people that were sexually harassed is more, per say, I think that it’s that people are being more comfortable being able to reach out and tell someone, which I think is important,” Wink said.
Responsible employees who must report incidents include; directors, department heads, managers, supervisors, administrative staff, faculty, resident assistants and discrimination complaining advisors, according to Lavender.
In order to report an incident or receive resources, go to UAB’s Title IX page.
Edited by Breeze Yancy & John H. Glenn