University of Rochester

EVENT: Conference Aims to Confront Sexual Assault on Campuses

April 1, 2013

A series of lectures, workshops, and panel discussions will address the impact of gender violence and sexual assault on individuals and campus communities during Survivor to Thriver: Confronting Sexual Assault on Campus, a conference to be held on Tuesday, April 2, and Wednesday, April 3, at the University of Rochester.

"The responsibility of confronting sexual assault is in the hands of all University of Rochester students and it is imperative that as a community we work together to support those that are personally affected by sexual violence and educate each other about ways to prevent it from occurring," said Sara Gleisle, a student in the Warner School of Education and graduate assistant in the UHS Health Promotion Office, who helped organize the conference.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, has a host of supporters, including the University's Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. "Conferences such as this reflect a great partnership between the campus and community to work together on important issues," said Catherine Cerulli, director of the Center. "While many services exist within the campus and community at large to help victims begin their healing journeys, they must first know help is available. Our panelists will help demystify the process in efforts to encourage survivors to reach out."

The conference opens Tuesday evening with a screening of the film Not My Life, which depicts the scourge of human trafficking on a global scale. Narrated by Glenn Close, the film takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited through practices including forced labor, sex tourism, and child soldiering. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. in Hoyt Auditorium, and will be followed by a brief discussion.

On Wednesday, April 3, the day-long event will feature opening remarks about the importance of combatting sexual violence from University President Joel Seligman. The day also includes a keynote address from a former student athlete who recovered from an assault, a panel discussion sharing resources for survivors of gender violence, and lectures from University of Rochester faculty members. "We hope students gain a better understanding of sexual assault and more confidence in their ability to seek resources that may benefit themselves or their peers," Gleisle explained. "By introducing students to different topics and means of engaging others, we aim to change the conversation about sexual assault."

Conference Schedule for Wednesday, April 3:

Opening Remarks by President Joel Seligman
9 a.m., Interfaith Chapel, River Level
President Joel Seligman will begin the day by offering remarks about the importance of combatting sexual violence.

Keynote Address by Maggie Maloy
9 a.m., Interfaith Chapel, River Level
Former Division III student athlete, Maggie Maloy, will share her personal story of recovery after an assault.

Panel Discussion: Local Resources for Survivors
10:25 a.m., Interfaith Chapel, Sanctuary
The panel will share local resources and options available for survivors of gender violence.

Poster Session and Caring Circles
12 p.m., Bridge Lounge and May Room, Wilson Commons
Attendees will have the opportunity to view posters featuring ongoing efforts to prevent and respond to gender violence. Community and campus organizations will share information about their services in "Caring Circles." The panelists from the morning will also be available for further conversation.

Lecture: Sexual Assault as a Feature of Manthink
1:30 p.m., Gowen Room, Wilson Commons
Professor David Bleich, University of Rochester

Lecture: The Spirituality of Recovery
2:30 p.m., Gowen Room, Wilson Commons
The Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life

The conference is made possible through the financial support of co-sponsors including Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership, University Intercessor, UHS Health Promotion Office, Equal Opportunity Compliance Office, The College, Office of the Dean of Students, Athletics and Recreation, University Health Service, Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Susan B. Anthony Institute, Communal Principles Project (CPP), Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys, Graduate Organizing Group (GOG), Women's Caucus, University of Rochester Pride Network, UR Cinema Group, and Southside Hall Council. Supporters also include Panhellenic Association, Multicultural Greek Council, GlobeMed, Monroe County District Attorney's Office, University Security, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Services, University Counseling Center, Rape Crisis, Monroe County Sheriff Office, Rochester Police Department, and Sexual Health Advocacy Group (SHAG).