RISE chat to target violence

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

Eliminating violence will be the topic of discussion in the Roberson Auditorium of Lumpkin Hall from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Making Excellence Inclusive collaborated with the political science department and Student Government for the November RISE chat.

The theme is “Eliminating Violence Against Women (and Others)” and Erin Rowland, a member of the RISE chats committee and recorder for Making Excellence Inclusive, said there was a reason they are not focusing solely on women.

Rowland said Nov. 25 is the international day for the elimination of violence against women, which includes domestic abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking.

“Some countries have expanded this to include the elimination of violence against all genders and so that’s what we wanted to do when putting this together,” she said.

Speakers will include Karen Swenson, a political science professor; Chas Figueroa, a graduate student studying college student affairs who will represent the Office of Gender and Sexual Diversity; Ky Newsome from HOPE of East Central Illinois; Amanda Feder from SACIS; and Mariana Juras, a psychology professor.

The event is open to the public and attendees can expect refreshments after the event.

Rowland said Swenson and EIU Legal Services will be available at the event to explain a lot of the legal situations that people sometimes find themselves in.

“A lot of people end up feeling like they’re trapped, like they can’t get out,” Rowland said. “That’s even a major problem for college students, so whenever it comes to domestic situations it’s knowing what the laws are as far as you being able to get out.”

There have been many individuals Rowland said she has met that have had a live-in partner and tried to get them to leave for various safety reasons, which Rowland said can get tricky when it comes to doing so in a legal way.

“There are laws in a lot of states, including Illinois, where they have 30 days’ notice that you have to give them,” she said. “That becomes a huge issue of what do you do if you can’t get them out.”

Rowland said that is where Swenson and EIU Legal Services will also come into play; they will be able to explain what to do in those types of situations.

Juras is set to talk about the role of faculty and administration in student mental health, which Rowland said can appeal to anyone interested in advocacy and research on such topics.

Rowland said the topics covered can apply to anyone of any gender and encouraged people to attend so they can learn more about the issues surrounding them.

“While these topics started out as a focus on women, we also know that the LGBTQA+ community and cisgender males are affected by these topics, too, especially when it comes to sexual assault,” she said. “We wanted everybody to know that there are going to be resources for every gender on these topics as well as a discussion of how these affect all people.

Rowland said anyone who may need counseling connections will be able to find them at the event; HOPE of East Central Illinois, SACIS and the EIU Mental Health Center will all be available.

The Eastern Student Government will also be at the event handing out drink drug-testing kits.

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]