sheila sobchik

The Cal Poly community is playing host this week to events dedicated to the awareness of sexual assault and violence against women. Presented by Cal Poly Women’s Programs through Student Life and Leadership, Remember Week, as it is called, involves events both on and off campus.

The events began with a memorial Monday night at the Luna Cafe for five local women who were victims of violence: Kristin Smart, who disappeared in 1996; Rachel Newhouse and Aundria Crawford, who both disappeared in 1998; Christina Hogan, who was killed in 2001; and most recently Laci Peterson in 2002, who was a Cal Poly alumna. The events will conclude with “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes: Men’s March to Stop Rape,” which will be held on Saturday, April 29.

“Remember Week works to provide avenues to educate the Cal Poly community about how to end sexual violence while empowering survivors,” said Julia Palm, a Remember Week coordinator.

The events draw a large number of participants and spectators every year, especially at Take Back The Night, which is held downtown at the Farmers’ Market from 6 to 9 p.m. This year, about 200 people are expected to attend.

Volunteers are also in high demand, as the week requires as many people as possible to be successful. This year, Residential Life and the greek system on campus are helping out, and Remember Week organizers expect about 50 assistants.

“What I find amazing about Remember Week is that it is put on (mostly) by volunteers who are passionate about raising awareness about sexual assault. These persons dedicate much of their free time advertising, designing events, soliciting donations, and educating others,” said Aimee Williams, a Women’s Programs volunteer involved with the production of the events.

Remember Week involves the entire San Luis Obispo community. Many local businesses will be drawn in, such as Crazy Jays, Optical Illusions, Boston Bagel Company, Jamba Juice, Lucy’s Juice, Steinern, La Cuesta Inn, California Blonde, Cowboy Cookies, House of Bread, Girl 2 Girl, The Secret Garden and Hands Gallery.

The week is full of many events, including speakers and service projects. Today from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Soup and Substance luncheon will be held in the Chumash Auditorium East Wing. This luncheon will include a speech on domestic violence by a member of the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter.

Also tonight, the SARP Center will be giving their responder training from 5 to 7 p.m. in the University Union, Room 219. This workshop will also provide resources for survivors of sexual assault.

Tomorrow, the SARP Center will continue its involvement in the week’s festivities with its self-defense workshop, which is to be held in UU 220 from 1 to 4 p.m. This will be an active three hours in which participants will learn assertiveness, awareness and self-defense techniques. Participants are asked to come dressed in comfortable clothing. Also, spaces are limited, so sign up soon in the Women’s Center.

“One in Four” is a presentation geared toward men to teach them how to help a sexual assault survivor. It is scheduled for tomorrow night from 6 to 8 p.m. in Philips Hall (Performing Arts Center Room 124).

On Thursday, Helen Zia, an award-winning journalist, scholar and contributing editor to Ms. Magazine will give her speech entitled “Crossing Boundaries: Social Change in the New Millennium” in the Vista Grande Cafe from 7:30 to 9 a.m. as part of the Provocative Perspectives series.

Other events on Thursday will include the Women’s Fair, from 11 a.m. to noon during UU Hour in the UU Plaza, and the Take Back The Night festivity from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown San Luis Obispo during Farmers’ Market on Garden Street. Performances will also be a part of Take Back The Night. Something Irish, Jill Knight and more bands will play as part of the night’s entertainment.

On Friday, a food drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Women’s Center. This food drive will benefit the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter and landscaping for the Life Steps Foundations.

On Tuesday, April 18, the 5K Run 2 Remember will start on the Health Center lawn at 7 p.m. Registration is $15 per person, and includes a T-shirt commemorating the event, a water bottle, a glow stick and more. It is a fund-raiser for Remember Week. Organizers expect about 300 participants to be involved.

And finally, on Saturday, April 29, Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo will be the starting place for the “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes: Men’s March to Stop Rape.” This event begins at 10:30 a.m. and the march itself starts at noon. Music, lunch and a raffle will conclude the festivities. Registration for individuals is $25, and for teams of four or more, it is $20 per person. Registration also includes five raffle tickets and an event T-shirt, if all parts of the registration are turned in, forms and money, by April 21.

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