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Ohio University Students Take Action Amidst Growing Sexual Assault Reports

OU students are fed up.

Tamia Heard

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Just four weeks into the semester, local and campus police at Ohio University (OU) have received about a dozen sexual assault reports from students.

Sexual assault is a serious matter and students at OU are speaking out about it. The university’s Panhellenic Council has been a prominent voice concerning the matter this past week. Greek houses on campus were draped with bed sheets bearing quotes about consent such as, “No does not mean convince me,” “Intoxication is not an invitation,” and simply “No means no!”

The students in Athens have also made an effort to ensure that campus resources are available for anyone who feels unsafe.

Two seniors,  Mary Ryznar and Erin Halpin, knew they had to do something once they saw the growing number of sexual assault reports on their campus. The two decided to create a GroupMe, which is an app that allows people to create group messages with thousands of members. The group was created as a resource for female students who feel unsafe walking home and would like someone to walk with them. This virtual buddy system, coined as “Safe Walk Home”, now has over 1,000 women in it and has already been of benefit to female students at OU.

For students at OU, awareness matters. Their signs of protest and tweets have gone viral on social media with college students across the country resonating with their messages. OU students believe they have the power to make a difference on their campus and encourage others to do the same.

 

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Tamia Heard is a rising senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Tamia is majoring in communication studies with a journalism concentration. As a southern woman, she enjoys Saturday's filled with college football and good food!

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