"Let's Talk About IT"

03/28/2004

Contributed by Jen Richardson

On Friday, April 2, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Park Auditorium, two young women will speak about the dramatic impact of sexual assault and date rape on campus.

In the fall of her senior year, a college woman was a victim of date rape in her own bedroom by a "friend." Although several years have passed, today she is driven with the desire to help educate students on the effects of sexual assault and the healing power found within a friendship.

Kelly Walker and Rebecca Tieder, two lifelong friends, are traveling the nation educating students on the realities of sexual assault on today's college campuses. They offer solutions for improved campus awareness and safety while speaking honestly about sex. The pair empower students with both the desire and the tools to make each campus they visit a safer place.

They call their program, "Let's Talk About It" -- it being "sex" because they feel that students' fear of talking openly and honestly about sex contributes to the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding sexual assault and date rape prevention efforts.

"As a student leader, I always sought out realistic options to help improve my campus. So, we emphasize that in our program. This isn't a victim's story. This is about what we each can do to prevent future victim stories," Tieder says.

Their presentation involves interactive exercises, audience discussion, and personal experiences to further enrich students understanding of the topic. Walker and Tieder not only give students a "true-life" example of the harsh outcomes of sexual crimes but offer up numerous solutions for this college epidemic.

Walker has held numerous professional positions since her graduation from the University of West Florida, all of which have brought strength and experience to her program. From foster care counselor to her work as a development officer with the University of South Florida, Walker has kept her finger on the pulse of ever-changing needs and growing concerns of today's college students, faculty, and staff.

Tieder's background in theater, marketing, and sales has allowed her to shake hands with and better understand all people. Through diversity training and organizational participation, she touches her community through the "Let's Talk About IT" message and her personal commitment to Greek life, educational institutions, and community organizations. Tieder holds a passion for helping others to grow and develop through a different learning experience.

One recent participant had this to say after the program: "This program is one that every college student should attend. Becca and Kelly are able to address a very difficult topic in a way that allows you to really open up and absorb the information. That hour changed how I thought about rape and sexual assault."

On Friday, April 2, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Park Auditorium, Kelly and Rebecca will bring their message to the Ithaca College Community. Please plan to attend this powerful session sponsored by the Sexual Assault Awareness Committee, SGA, the Office of Affirmative Action, the Health Promotion Committee, RHA, and the Office of Residential Life.

Contributed by Jen Richardson

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