The marketing launch for ICARE, a $300,000 grant to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus through programming and advocacy, was held in the Muenster University Center Pit Lounge at noon on Thursday.
Lamont Sellers, associate vice president for diversity and a member of the programming subcommittee for ICARE, said the event was intended to showcase ICARE to students and to introduce the events planned for the semester.
“It sends the message that we actually do care about our students and not only reducing and eliminating the instances of sexual assault on campus and in our community, but also that we want to provide students with safe and helpful alternatives,” he said. “We as a campus community want to be able to be part of the solution for our students, faculty and staff.”
William Kayser, a junior criminal justice major and president of Spectrum, said he’s gotten involved with the inclusive part of ICARE and that Spectrum is a safe place for students to feel heard.
“This message says there are a bunch of people out here who care to try and bring awareness to stop sexual assaults on campus, that they aren’t alone and it can happen to anyone,” he said. “We are known for being there as someone you can talk to. We don’t discriminate.”
Jim Moran, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Bridget Diamond-Welch, ICARE program director and assistant professor of criminal justice; and Marisa Cummings, ICARE project coordinator, all spoke at the event.
Diamond-Welch said ICARE has been a “real labor of love.”
“It took so much time and energy to bring us where we are today,” she said to the event attendees. “So many people on this campus care about you on this campus. We have had a phenomenal outpouring of support, and you all need to get involved.”
ICARE, Coyote Athletics and PAVE, a student-led organization to promote awareness and victim empowerment, are also partnering up at the women’s basketball game tonight against Western Illinois to help raise awareness and education about sexual assault. PAVE will be spotlighted at halftime of the game.