A solution ASAP

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March 30, 2015

9:32 PM

The recent launch of Alumni for Sexual Aggression Prevention is a progressive step toward  tackling the issue of sexual aggression on the College of William and Mary’s campus. Sexual aggression is not a problem that can be addressed and resolved in the short-term, and the formation of this alumni organization is a dynamic response to an ever-present and continually changing problem.

Engaging the College community outside of current students is an important asset in addressing such a pervasive issue. The involvement of the wider College family allows for greater pooling of resources; the ASAP website calls for “supporting the work of on-campus activists and service providers by contributing time, resources, and financial support to their projects.” Allowing alumni to contribute to activist groups on campus, notably those dedicated to the prevention of sexual aggression, is a great way for them to see the direct impacts of their involvement while also giving these groups much-needed support to effectively tackle complicated problems.

Aside from pooling resources, the creation of ASAP is key in pressuring the administration to continue to address the issue of sexual aggression. The group’s website advocates for the mobilization of alumni in response to incidents of concern. The added pressure of alumni in conjunction with current students will strongly urge the administration to attend to incidents of sexual aggression promptly. It will also encourage the administration to continually address the issue and force it to remain in the spotlight. Although it’s important to recognize that there is no simple, singular solution for preventing sexual aggression, the College will be challenged to face it as a continuous issue and to find new ways to prevent incidents from occurring. Alumni for Sexual Aggression Prevention recognizes that continuing the conversation is key in finding ways to overcome it, even if it does not have a concrete answer to the problem.

Not only is ASAP supporting a valuable cause, it provides substantive ways to address the issue. The organization focuses on outreach and awareness through social media platforms, such as Facebook and its website. The group reached out with a climate survey for current students to assess how involved alumni are perceived to be, and how students think alumni should involve themselves to help prevent sexual aggression on campus. Further programming will increase the substance of the group, but its current outreach is commendable given how new the initiative is.

The creation of Alumni for Sexual Aggression Prevention is a meaningful initiative to unite the College community against sexual aggression on campus. The pooling of alumni resources along with the increased pressure to address the issue in new and creative ways is a productive step towards realizing a campus with less sexual aggression.

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