Students Ending Rape Culture festival ISU

SERC is a newer registered student organization that offers support for survivors and raises awareness and educates the community about rape culture and sexual violence.

When a Redbird thinks of registered student organizations on campus, fun ideas and unique hobbies come to mind, but Health Promotion and Wellness is working with a newly registered student organization to provide an important message at the university.

Students Ending Rape Culture aims to raise awareness about rape culture, educate the community about sexual violence and offer support to survivors.

Recently, the Illinois State University Police Department sent out a crime advisory. On Sept. 3 a male student was alleged to have sexually assaulted a female student in his dorm room in Wilkins Hall.

It is instances like this that SERC is aiming to educate students about. Rape culture plays a lot into the frequency of occurrences like the one in the crime advisory.

Senior biochemistry major and SERC member Brendan Wall describes exactly what rape culture is and whether we realize it or not, we’re living in it and could be facilitating it.

“But to me, rape culture is any attitude like locker room talk or rape jokes, stuff that you think is harmless but ultimately emphasizes and reinforces rape in a larger sense,” Wall said.

SERC members work together to recognize and prevent such situations from happening.

Not only do SERC members raise awareness but they also debunk myths and misinformation about the subject.

SERC also provides students with many impactful events related to their mission throughout the year.

Some of their previous events include discussions like their “Healthy Relationships: From Roommates to Romance” talk last year and participating in Take Back the Night during sexual assault awareness month back in April.

Their latest event is a series of self-care workshops to provide a foundation for survivors as well as their supporters.

Misia Grzybowski is a Senior Specialist for Peer Education and Advocacy within Health Promotion and Wellness at ISU and SERC’s advisor.

“As advocates, people may sometimes neglect their own needs while supporting others,” Grzybowski said.

This is exactly where the workshops come into play. Participants will develop the necessary skills to become aware of their own needs while taking care of others at the same time.

Grzybowski says playing a supportive role without engaging in self-care can lead to compassion fatigue.

Taking on someone else’s pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing but one must also set aside time for themselves to recuperate.

Survivors of domestic violence and survivors of all trauma are welcome. The workshops are free and open to the campus community.

The Self-Care Series will be at 5 p.m. Thursdays in McCormick Hall room 186.

KOURTNEY CUNNINGHAM is a Features Reporter for The Vidette. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @NewsKourtney

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