Carsten Frauenheim | Mustang News

Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Jamie Patton will join other campus leaders for a panel discussion on men’s role in the #MeToo movement at 3:30 p.m. March 1 in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (building 65), room 220.

The #MeToo hashtag went viral in October 2017 when people began posting about their experiences of sexual violence and harassment on social media accompanied by the hashtag. After film producer Harvey Weinstein was dismissed from his company following multiple allegations of sexual abuse, the hashtag started a widespread movement to expose sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond.

The panel at Cal Poly will discuss the ways men can engage in the movement and use their privilege in society to speak out against sexual violence.

“I see this discussion as a wonderful opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue at Cal Poly about an important movement in our country,” Humphrey said in a statement.

Men and Masculinity Program student assistant Winston Chang said the panel will emphasize the idea of “allyship”— people in positions of privilege speaking out against injustice and supporting those without such privilege.

Chang said men can participate in the #MeToo movement by showing support and validating its message.

Even as a guy, and the #MeToo hashtag may not be applicable to me personally, that doesn’t mean that I have no role to play,” psychology junior Chang said.

In fact, Chang said men can play an important role in the movement, using their place of privilege to speak up for the cause.

“Using that unspoken privilege that I already have, I can kind of lend that political power to supporting the #MeToo movement and adding that validity to a movement,” Chang said. “It can’t hurt to show that support.”

Panelists will discuss ways to change the campus climate and create a healthy conversation about sexual violence and the #MeToo movement.

Safer Director Christina Kaviani is also the director of Men and Masculinity programs.

“If we can get more males talking about ending sexism, we can begin challenging the normalization of sexual and dating/domestic violence,” Kaviani said in a statement. “Through conversations, we have the potential to be role models and change behaviors that are hurting men and women.”

The event is free and open to the public. More information on sexual violence in the United States, including resources for victims, can be found at https://www.rainn.org. More information on the Men and Masculinity programs can be found on Cal Poly’s website.

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