newsMarch 20, 2024
Southeast Missouri State’s Redhawks Rising Against Sexual Assault (RRASA) Club hosted four female panelists to speak on women’s advocacy in the workplace on Thursday, March 7.

The panelists were the Development Director at Southeast Missouri Network on Sexual Violence(NASV) Alix Glasser, owner of Adaptive Minds Counseling Ashlee Sitzer, Executive Director of the Safe House of Southeast Missouri, Jessica Hill and from the President’s Executive Staff team and assistant to the President for Equity Initiatives and Title IX Coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University Nora Bouzihay.

The women spoke on how they landed in their various careers, as well as different inspirations and female experiences in the workplace.

While only one student attended in person, the panel was live-streamed on Facebook Live. The video was posted to their Facebook page after the event, and it can be viewed at any time.

Senior Exercise Science major and co-president of RRASA Christine Kirvy and Senior Secondary Education major and co-president of RRASA Avery Clubbs spoke on what the club’s goal is.

”We provide education and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault,” Kirvy said. “We also fundraise for donations to various organizations across our community, such as the Safe House, Zonta, and SEMO NASV.”

RRASA has also partnered with different organizations on campus, including Theta Xi and Iota Chi, to teach them about consent.

“Our education efforts focus mostly on just trying to raise awareness about consent and ending gender based violence and sexual assault,” Kirvy said.

Sophomore Nursing major Kamaryn Stanfill assists RRASA in planning their events, including this panel.

Stanfill said the club has seen a decline in teaching SEMO organizations about consent, so they are pivoting their work in order to do more meaningful work on campus.

RRASA Exec Board pose for a photo in front of panel setup.
RRASA Exec Board pose for a photo in front of panel setup.Photo by Olivia Ketcherside

“Unfortunately, we were not able to continue working on it. So we ended up sticking with advocacy and education,” Stanfill said.

Political Science and Criminal Justice major Brock Freeman attended the panel in person and felt passionately about the subject matter being discussed.

“My family has been touched by issues that affect the areas that these women work in,” Freeman said. “So it's nice as a professional now to be able to learn from them, network from them and see how I can be a better advocate in my community.”

Freeman also felt that the issues discussed reach at least one woman that other students know so it is important to be educated.

“I think that each one of us, like they said, can be a leader, but at the same time, each one of us can be an advocate,” Freeman said. “And I think that sometimes men don't really take up space to be advocates for women.”

RRASA is currently planning several events that will take place in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They will be hosting their annual Unity Walk from Academic Hall to the Rec Center for Jean Day on Wednesday, April 24.