Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Educating yourself through International Men’s Week

This year, Sophomore Terrance Jones, liaison with the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention Education (OSAPE) worked hard with Zachary Draves and Jamie Heminway to put on Augustana’s first International Men’s Week. This week included four talks, each hosted and presented by Jones in collaboration with several different culture groups, taking place in Olin Auditorium from 4-5 p.m., from Nov. 13 to 16. 

International Men’s Week’s purpose is to recognize and acknowledge the physical and mental struggles of men around the world, and to educate the Augustana population on issues and trials that men of different cultures face in their communities. This week was also used to bring light to sexual assault and harassment that men indure and the debunking of the myth that sexual assault is just a women’s issue. 

Zachary Draves, program director of OSAPE, said that it was important for this week to be for all students and staff at Augustana, as it is imperative to have all populations aware of the challenges we face.

“We need people to be a part of the solution,” Draves said. “That’s why we created peer educators like Terrance Jones, and that’s why we want to recognize that people of all backgrounds are victums of sexual violence. Part of what we wanted to do was showcase men as survivors and men becoming allies and how men of all different backgrounds are impacted by this issue.”

The week began with a lecture on “Machismo and Marianismo” in collaboration with OSAPE on Monday. Tuesday’s presentation covered the oversexualization of black men and Wednesday featured both an informational table in the Brew and a presentation about female genital mutilation in collabortion with the African Student Association. Finally, Thursday was originally going to cover a presentation about challenging myths, however, due to a lack of attendance from targeted audiences, this presentation was changed to a discussion of rape culture.

Junior Janey Locander, attendee of this week’s presentation and OSAPE student worker, said that it was disappointing to see lack of participation and attendance at these presentations.

“These presentations have been very good and very insightful,” Locander said. “I would have loved for more people to show up because these topics are very important.”

Jones said that these talks were given for the education of Augustana students and to hopefully create more awareness for college campus safety issues around sexual assault and harassment. 

“There’s a sense of distrust here, and this week’s presentation is one of the ways that we can educate the public and bring down civil unrest so that we can feel safer and more educated about what’s happening on campus and what’s out there in the world,” Jones said. 

Through these discussions and presentations, it was the goal that Augustana students would feel more educated about both the society they live in and about various issues faced by the different populations around campus, as these issues affect everyone in one way or another.

“It’s important to recognize that all of us are impacted in some sort of way,” Draves said. “The more that we can acknowledge that, the more that we can talk about it in an inclusive lens to see how it affects different communities and how sexual violence exacerbates injustice and inequity. The more progress we make, the more we’ll be able to understand each other. Some people think we live in silos, but we all live in one society together.”


Janey Locander is a former employee of the Observer.

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