SMU students raise awareness for sexual assault

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SMU Not On My Campus held their semi-annual photo day by the flagpole on March 7 to help raise awareness and educate about sexual violence on college campuses.

Students were invited to write, “Not On My Campus” on their palms and pose in front of Dallas Hall for a photo. These photos are used in the organization’s nationwide campaign to help end the silence that surrounds sexual assault and help create a safer campus environment. Around 35 students attended the event.

Not On My Campus is fairly new to SMU students, as it has only been an official organization on campus for two years. SMU Not On My Campus President and senior, Maddie Findlen, has been involved with the group since her sophomore year. She likes the fact they are an individually run organization that focuses on students helping students.

“Our big thing has been that it is a student led movement, so we’re not affiliated with the school at all or the administration. Which I think is important because we want it to be students supporting other students,” Findlen said.

Not On My Campus is an organization that can be found on college campuses nationwide. One of Findlen’s goals as president is to continue raising awareness for sexual assault but also educate as many students as possible at SMU.

“My goals, personally, have been to raise awareness but to reach different demographics. I started out doing Panhellenic and IFC presentations,” Findlen said. “But I wanted to reach out to residential commons as well and other organizations outside of the Greek Community.”

During passing periods, various students were stopped and asked to take a photo with the saying written on their hand. Some said they were too busy, others happily obliged. The Not On My Campus Photo Day was the exact way Vice President of Communications, Blair Betik, got involved with the organization.

“I was a freshman walking to class and saw all of these people with this big teal sign in front that said, ‘Not On My Campus’ and I went and took a picture,” Betik said. “I talked to some of the girls on exec and they told me their message.”

Betik went on to say that photo day was her favorite event that SMU Not On My Campus hosts.

“I love Photo Days,” Betik said. “It’s been a part of my experience here at SMU and I think it’s a very visual way to proclaim your awareness of something.”

The Not On My Campus Photo Days continue to be a successful event for the organization, to bring awareness to an important topic and educate those that are interested.

Senior, Ethan Decker, said he was introduced to Not On My Campus by the photos he saw on Facebook.

“When I was a freshman I saw all of the Facebook photos and that’s how I learned about it,” Decker said. “I remember thinking it was really cool to see people who aren’t typically part of this type of movement are.”

On March 21, SMU Not On My Campus will be having a movie night in Hughes-Trigg. They will be showing “The Hunting Ground,” a movie about sexual assault on college campuses. The organization will also be hosting other events in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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