To kick off Temple Student Government’s first Sexual Assault Prevention Week, several dozen students and staff came together at Owl Stand Up, an event centered around different art forms to combat sexual assault.
The Skate Park on the corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue was filled with students who wanted their voices heard, not just through speaking, but through art, poetry and music.
This event was coordinated by Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes and Amelia Burns, the president of Student Activists Against Sexual Assault.
“This is the first event at night, so it is ultimately going to give people who often feel silenced in these kinds of times a voice and to feel more empowered on campus,” Director of TSG Communications Sarah Madaus said.
Upon entry to the Skate Park, there was a mattress on display that read, “1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime.”
The perimeter of the park was lined with heart-shaped stickers reading, “worthy,” plastered on the walls behind where the stations were positioned.
The Skate Park was lined with tables dedicated to student and Philadelphia organizations, all using their platforms to speak out against sexual assault. These tables were occupied by representatives from organizations like Planned Parenthood and student organization Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. Spoken word poets and musicians also performed at the event.
One station was dedicated to pledge against U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her department’s attempt to loosen restrictions around Title IX this past week.
The center of the park was lined with art on canvas, many displaying women of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Senior risk management major Jaycee Homsher’s artwork was showcased at the event.
Homsher, under his brand JokesArt, makes custom art upon request. He specializes in painting pieces based on song lyrics. From Frank Ocean to Jay-Z, lyrics paired with illustrations were on display for the attendees to see.
“It’s important, all of this stuff that Temple is doing,” Homsher said. “We definitely need to do more of this stuff, not only at Temple, but outside in the Philly community. Any step forward to stopping [sexual assault] is good.”
FMLA member and social work major Jaid Munczinski said the event was a necessary step for Temple ending sexual assault.
“It’s great to see all of the other organizations on campus showing up for this event,” Munczinski said. “It’s encouraging that we have other people on campus who are also interested in making a culture change.”