MSU’s Counseling Center Sexual Assault Program celebrates 35th anniversary
To commemorate 35 years of service on campus, MSU’s Counseling Center Sexual Assault Program held a celebration ceremony in the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on Thursday night.
The anniversary happened to fall in April, now nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness month. Several events, workshops and ceremonies are taking place on campus in the coming weeks to help bring awareness to the issues of sexual assault.
University President Lou Anna K. Simon was present and commended the values and commitment of the members of MSU’s Sexual Assault Program since its inception.
“Sexual assault and relationship violence is an issue that we is difficult to understand on a national level,” President Simon said. “We’re hopeful we see a decline in the number of incidents as well as more people feeling comfortable about bringing these issues forward.”
Simon recently announced that on April 6, a Campus Climate Survey will be distributed to all MSU students. The survey was developed based on research from outside experts in order to help eliminate the university’s bias. Questions will be centered on nuances and reports made from students and survivors.
Other notable figures from the MSU community were in attendance to show support for the counseling center and its programs.
“This kind of turnout at an event like this directly supports the staff and helps to remind us of the importance of the work we do on a daily basis,” Shari Murgittroyd, the Sexual Assault Program coordinator, said at the ceremony’s introduction.
Ribbons were presented to certain guests for their notable contributions and work to help change the culture on campus and end sexual assault.
The White Ribbon Award honored men who led significant work against sexual and domestic violence. This year’s recipients were Alumni Association President Scott Westerman and ASMSU President James Conwell.
Under Conwell’s leadership, ASMSU has partnered with the It’s On Us campaign, which works to make the campus feel like a safe environment for everyone.
“If I had to pick something I am most proud of in my time,” Conwell said. “It would be advocating money and resources to the sexual assault program.”
ASMSU recently made a $2,500 donation to the counseling center and successfully advocated for a new position on the staff to fill a vacancy.
The Teal Ribbon Leadership Award was presented to Laura Swanson, who a student producer of the documentary film Every Two Minutes. Her film was produced within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and has been featured on the Dr. Phil show and presented at film festivals across the country.
The event concluded with a screening of the film, introduced by Swanson.