Dozens of notes addressed to survivors of sexual violence, with messages like “You’re beautiful,” “You’re strong,” and “We’re here for you,” were posted outside Ritter Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
This was the third event of Temple Student Government’s annual Sexual Assault Prevention Week, which began Monday.
For six hours, TSG collected 100 handwritten messages from students on post-it notes, Student Body President Francesca Capozzi.
“We just wanted to bring some camaraderie and stand up against sexual assault, but we also want to show support and empower survivors on campus,” said Laryssa Banks, TSG;’s vice president of services, who was at the tent when the event kicked off at 10 a.m.
The post-it notes will eventually be displayed outside of TSG’s office in the Student Center to show continuing support for survivors of sexual violence, said Banks, a junior health professions major.
“This is a kind of way that we can normalize the conversation, by doing things that are inclusive and supportive of each other,” said Ammani Khan, TSG’s director of campus life and diversity.
Students who approached the tent were eager to show their support.
“[Survivors] should know that they aren’t alone in any situation,” said Alanis Schwarzler, a sophomore journalism major.
On a large campus, Schwarzler thinks things like sexual assault can sometimes be overlooked, and Temple’s community needs to have a more open dialogue about it.
“I think being in the city, and also just being on a large campus, we don’t realize how big this issue is and how common it is throughout like, not even just with females, but males, too,” she added.
Jennifer Martinez believes that it’s crucial for sexual assault survivors to know that they have support from their college peers, she said.
“They’re not alone, and they’ll never be alone,” said Martinez, a sophomore journalism major. “A lot of girls might be ashamed to talk about it at first, but they should know that they can talk about it on our campus, and there should be opportunities for them to talk about it and resources that they can go to.”
Giovanny Zapata, a senior health professions major, thinks events like this are an easier way to talk about a serious topic, he said.
“I think it’s a good approach in terms of advocacy and getting the word out that there are supporters here on campus for them, whether we know them personally or not,” Zapata said.