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Equity Cohort Enhances SNC Initiatives

St. Norbert has joined an inaugural, grant-funded cohort of schools invited to implement a new Sexual Assault Prevention & Campus Equity (SPACE) toolkit.

This mission-aligned project is sponsored by the authors of “Sexual Citizens,” named one of NPR’s best books of 2020. The groundbreaking study of sex, power and assault draws on interviews with 150 Columbia and Barnard students, revealing the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault a predictable element of life on many college campuses.

The SPACE project provides campuses with a new approach to sexual violence prevention – one grounded in a broad commitment to equity. It’s just one of a slew of initiatives on campuses across the country to raise awareness of, and develop prevention programming around, sex and gender-based violence. And, at St. Norbert, the toolkit supports a comprehensive community-partnership effort funded with help from the United States Department of Justice to the initial tune of $300,000 – a commitment that was just renewed, with a further $269,921 forthcoming. SNC is currently one of only two schools in Wisconsin that received continuation funding for this Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant.

As Title IX – the landmark law guaranteeing equal access to education – turns 50, the goals of this initiative fit seamlessly with SNC’s commitment to being a part of the solution to gender-based violence. The college is especially interested in exploring the nexus between policy response and prevention outreach, say President Tom Kunkel and Joe Webb (Student Affairs). “We are excited about the potential to bring about community-based change at the campus policy level,” they shared in a joint statement supporting the cohort application. “In all ways, St. Norbert College is committed to supporting a learning and working environment that protects the sacred dignity of the human person and fosters the mutual respect necessary for communio to flourish.”

The recent initiative is reflected across the curriculum, too. Among many classroom-based approaches to themes of Catholic social teaching like personal responsibility and human dignity, SNC students in one course will be reading “Sexual Citizens” in tandem with a group of faculty and staff colleagues. Raquel Lopez (Psychology), who teaches PSYC 215: Human Sexuality – a course that includes a focus on consent – says she is seeing a significant increase in the number of male students enrolled in the class. And a 2021 research project, part of ENG/WMGS 310 Race & Sex in Contemporary U.S. Texts taught by AnaMaria Seglie Clawson (English, Women’s & Gender Studies), led to refinements to sex/gender-based violence training for SNC’s athletics teams.

Oct. 31, 2022