Banner Up Ohio State Increases Awareness of Sexual Violence On Campus

Banner Up Ohio State

1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men is a statistic that most students are undoubtedly familiar with. It does not take much to admit that rape and sexual assault are transnational problems, especially across college campuses. The question is, however, in what ways can this be stopped? Although it is down to the will of the individual, there is also accountability at a societal level; we must ask ourselves how as a society we may be fueling a certain problem. In this case, the problem is sexual violence.

Rape culture can take on obvious or discrete forms. It stems from an environmental rhetoric which directly or indirectly normalizes sexual violence by trivializing the issue and diverting blame from the perpetrator. It is prevalent through the media, dress codes, popular culture, and is even fueled by negligence to hold perpetrators legally accountable.

An example of the normalization of rape culture is the banners that are commonly hung on off- campus housing during welcome week. While welcome week is a fast-paced and exciting time for both new and returning students, it is also a time susceptible to incidents of sexual violence.
For instance, in 2015 a Virginia fraternity was suspended over a banner displayed with the phrase “Freshman Daughter Drop Off.” Needless to say, such banners are derogatory, offensive, and directly contribute to the normalization of rape culture on college campuses.

Banner Up Ohio State is an initiative brought to campus by Advocates for Women of the World, a student organization founded by seniors Nicole Haddad and Jenny Kim that champions local and global women’s rights. This organization pursues its mission through action-based efforts and awareness campaigns on a variety of issues, such as girls’ education, sexual violence, refugee rights, and much more. Inspired by an Indiana University IFC initiative, whose effort can be viewed here  this campaign was brought to Ohio State’s campus to fuel the counter culture. Participating Greek chapters and student organizations are given a banner displaying a message of support for survivors of sexual violence or a phrase depicting the importance of consent. The banners are then displayed on off-campus housing or chapter facilities for the first week of classes.

Advocates for Women of the World realizes that this campaign does not eliminate the overriding problem of sexual violence. We do not intend for it to be a mask for people to hide behind and subsequently ignore what is going on around them. Rather, we strive for it to be an educational and awareness tool, to offer an opportunity for individual self-reflection, and to emphasize that there is no sense of entitlement to other people’s bodies. Most importantly, we hope for this campaign to be an effective display of support for all survivors and to bring to the forefront a battle that so many people have endured. The more we can encourage visibility and conversation surrounding this issue, the more we can progress as a campus and a society.

On behalf of myself and the entire student organization, we sincerely appreciate the support this campaign has received. Between every single share, donation, and participating organization, every individual has been pivotal in bringing our initiative to life, and for that we are extremely grateful.

Karla Haddad is the VP  of Finance for Advocates for Women of the World.

Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Impacts Communities, Families

Photo by World News

We can no longer debate the harsh reality. The opioid crisis is real. Fentanyl and heroin overdoses continue to rise at an alarming rate. From 2003-2015 2,590 people unintentionally overdosed from opioids in the state of Ohio.  This is 84.9% of all accidental overdoses recorded over that time. Recovery supports are becoming more and more important with each passing day. Now more than ever, we need to build out the continuum of care and invest in recovery support services. Whether it’s the language we use, the way in which we view substance use disorders (SUD) in the court of law, or the gaps that we begin to fill, changes need to be made. 89% of people who need treatment are not getting the help they need. Work continues to be done on educating society on one simple message; recovery is possible.

Recovery language is vital to shifting the tides at work. What we say and how we say it has the power to help or hurt. This disease will continue to be viewed through a criminal justice lens as long as we continue to talk about it as such. Derogatory terms like “addict”, “drunk” and “junkie” have negative connotations that have been engrained in us for decades. We see this as criminal behavior because that is what we were taught. If we continue the work of shifting towards proper recovery language then together we can shift the culture towards healing our communities.

“People suffering from a SUD are not bad people trying to get good, they are sick people trying to get well.” Words that echo through recovery circles and treatment centers across the country. Yet incarceration still seems to be the go to for government spending. Studies show that if just 10% of drug related incarcerations were differed to treatment, lifetime societal net benefits reflect $8.5 billion relative to baseline. And if that percentage climbs to the still reasonable 40%, we could see net benefits of $22.5 billion dollars. Treatment is not only cheaper, it is also more effective. In New York state, they saw a 21% decrease in reconviction rates when people received a treatment alternative! While treatment is effective and results in cost savings, it isn’t the end of the continuum.

What we do after initial treatment is paramount to providing those with SUD a continuum of care. Studies show that the change of returning to use rates diminish the longer the individual maintains their recovery. After just five years of remission, return to use rates drop below 15%. The goal here is to ensure that individuals have access to a continuum of care and ongoing recovery supports so they can reach this critical five year mark. There are many ways to foster and develop SUD recovery. Whether its outpatient treatment programs, medically-assisted treatment (MAT) or collegiate recovery programs (CRP), all of these fall on the continuum of care for SUD, and all have been proven effective. Programs like the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD) and CRPs across the country look to foster an environment that promotes the expansion to the continuum of care for people recovering from SUD.

While this crisis may seem daunting, there are things we can do right now to make an impact. Firstly, we should incorporate recovery language in our lives in order to help destigmatize the jaded view of SUD. Treatment is not only more humane than incarceration, it’s more effective. Additionally, look to support legislation that encourages treatment over incarceration and taking a public health approach to ending this epidemic rather than a criminal justice approach. Lastly, we need to continue investing in recovery supports! Programs all across the country are making an impact into the opioid crisis. A SUD is a not a character problem, it’s a community problem. We rise and fall as one, and if we take the proper steps we can all recover, together.

Rob Schilder, Ohio State Collegiate Recovery Community Student Assistant

Sarah Nerad, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery, Director of Recovery

In Times of Globalism, in Times of Nationalism: Foreign language education is my tool of choice

 

Photo from pinterest.com

I was twelve years old when I started learning German, my second language, and I was sixteen years old when I studied abroad for the first time. In the summer before my junior year of high school, I traveled to southern Germany to live with a host family and attend school, and for the entirety of those weeks, I spoke only German.

During my time as an exchange student at a German high school, I noticed that all students took several hours of world language classes per day; some were enrolled in as many as four languages at once. To all of my German friends, learning and mastering English, French, and Spanish seemed to be a very high priority. When I asked why, they replied that an advanced knowledge of multiple languages would be absolutely vital if they were to achieve their goals, an idea that I, as an American, had never even considered. I had always thought that German was fun, but I had never viewed my proficiency in this language as the skill that could make or break my chances of success.

Around the world, children are taught the basics of languages and dialects from the time they first step through the doors of a school. There’s a noticeable global pattern of exposing young people to foreign languages at early ages, while in the United States, students typically don’t begin the process until middle school or high school. First comes math and reading, then science and social studies. World language is often left as an afterthought in the American education curriculum. American society has evolved to the point where we see the simple ability to communicate with people from around the world as a side skill, something that may enhance a person’s future, but never advance it. I believe that many Americans’ tendencies to treat foreign languages as nothing more than credit hours are a display of the privilege we have in this country.

Too many Americans rely on the idea that the rest of the world will “just learn English.” While it is an idea they can trust – English is the most popular, if not, one of the most popular languages to teach children in schools abroad – it is an idea they should hope to change. Education systems around the world are dedicated to the students’ success in an era of globalization, information and communication, and learning multiple foreign languages is seen as essential if young people hope to get a leg up in the economy. Having a holistic world view is valued immensely overseas, and we must begin to see the value in it in the United States if we are to maintain peaceful relationships around the globe in the years to come.

Like most Americans, my great, great grandparents were immigrants. I did not grow up in a bilingual or multicultural family. Throughout my childhood, no one told me I had to start learning a second language. I made my own decision to place a very high value on my foreign language studies when I started learning German at age twelve, but through this decision, I learned so much more about human connection, interaction, and the world in all of its stunning diversity than I ever could have by completing the minimum requirements to graduate.

In this bilateral age of both globalism and nationalism, America must start viewing foreign language education as the tool with which we can build better understanding and awareness in the world. It has the ability to open doors of compassion and tolerance between people from vastly different lifestyles. By studying second and third languages, by committing ourselves to learning about and experiencing other cultures, American individuals can express their respect for other countries and their desire to work together towards greater cultural insights and diplomatic solutions. After all, solving the world’s problems begins with communication. Changing American views on learning languages and collectively reforming foreign language education will certainly take time, but the process of reversing the current narrative begins on an individual scale by each of us making our own commitment to take language and cultural studies seriously.

Kate Greer is a first-year history and German language double major at The Ohio State University who testified to the Ohio House Education Committee on the importance of foreign language education and the implementation of a Seal of Biliteracy on high school diplomas. When she is not busy with her studies, Kate is active on campus as a member of International Affairs Scholars, the German Club at OSU, and the Undergraduate Student Government academic affairs committee and interns program. She can be contacted at greer.219@buckeyemail.osu.edu.