Ryan Chartrand

Sexual assault is such a serious subject that it can be hard to reach students who don’t already know about how to prevent it.

For her senior project, journalism senior Elyse Fagundes helped organize a benefit concert for the Sexual Assault Free Environment Resource (SAFER) program to reach a different target audience, downtown music fans.

The concert was held at Downtown Brewing Co. on Tuesday, when many students go downtown for pint night.

“We’re trying to reach a new demographic,” said psychology junior Alicia Voorhees, SAFER’s associate student coordinator.

“The people who usually come to our programs already know about us and we want to reach the people who go downtown,” she said.

SAFER is Cal Poly’s sexual assault education and awareness program that is mainly focused on preventing sexual assault and rape.

“We try to get out there and let people know how to prevent sexual assaults and make Cal Poly safer,” Voorhees said.

As a journalism student concentrating in public relations, Fagundes wanted to promote SAFER and help them raise money for her senior project, but use a different tactic than a booth in the UU or handing out flyers.

“I thought if we had something really fun like a concert, we’d be able to reach more people,” she said.

The concert raised more than $1,000 for SAFER and had at least 150 people come throughout the night.

“I thought they had an excellent turnout,” said psychology junior Samantha Hunt, who helped out at the event.

“It was great how many people turned out to support SAFER and Women’s Programs,” she said.

Voorhes agreed, saying, “We appreciate people coming out here. We rely on volunteers and support to keep us going. They are what keeps our program alive.”

Fagundes was excited about the turnout at the concert, especially because people who didn’t know about SAFER had a chance to hear their message and learn how to help prevent sexual assaults.

“People came up to us saying, ‘That’s really cool what you’re doing. I didn’t know what SAFER was,’” Fagundes said.

One in four college women have been sexually assaulted and more than 80 percent of them already knew their attacker.

In light of the recent sexual assaults at Cal Poly, it is especially important that students know how they can stay safe at parties and when they go out.

While those are real statistics, many students think nothing like that could ever happen to them and they aren’t interested in things like the Run to ReMEmber to tell students what they can do to help prevent sexual assault.

“We want you to be safe, be careful, but we’re students too and we all want to have fun,” Fagundes said. “Now people know who we are and they have a resource if it happens to them.”

One of the ways SAFER educated people at the concert was with coasters that they left on top of unattended drinks that listed the dangers of not watching their drinks.

All the money raised by ticket sales went straight to SAFER to help with the expenses of campaign materials and employees. Tickets were $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Three bands played at the concert: The Arch Dukes and Sycamore from San Luis Obispo and Indubious from Berkeley.

The bands played for free because they wanted to support SAFER’s cause. Fagundes said they were planning to pay them for playing, but each of the bands offered to play for free.

Throughout the night they gave on stage shout outs to SAFER to make sure everyone knew what the night was about.

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