‘It’s Up to U’ aimed at skill-building to prevent sexual assault

Publication Date

April 5 is National Day of Action for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Union College

Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Union College

“It’s Up to U,” the theme of Title IX programming during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April, features skill-building events to avert and eradicate sexual violence and harassment.

SAAM begins on Tuesday, April 5, with the National Day of Action. Members of the Union community are encouraged to wear teal.

Among events planned at Union are a series of town hall meetings, trauma support groups, information tables, relationship workshops and a self-defense class.

The capstone event is “A Call to Men: A Conversation with Tony Porter” on April 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Reamer Campus Center Auditorium. Porter is an author, educator and activist known for his work in preventing violence against women. He is CEO of A Call to Men, an organization aimed at promoting healthy, respectful manhood. His talk is co-sponsored by the Interfraternity Council and Athletics.

Denim Day 2022

Denim Day 2022

April 27 is also Denim Day, which calls attention to supporting survivors of rape.

"This year's Title IX programming theme -- 'It's Up to U' -- highlights our focus on taking action to prevent sexual violence within and beyond our community,” said Mary Simeoli, Title IX coordinator. “While April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this April at Union we've focused our programming on skill-building.”

“All month long we'll be hosting events and programs in partnership with local and community resources to empower and encourage action,” she added. “We hope that our wide range of programs will offer something for everyone.”

“Don't forget to wear your teal on Tuesday, April 5, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month's official kick-off for the SAAM Day of Action!”

SAAM events at Union include:

April 5
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action
Wear teal to show support
Planned Parenthood Table, noon to 2 p.m., Reamer Campus Center

April 6
Title IX Community Data Meeting
12:50 p.m., O’Brien 117

April 12 and 13
Supporting Students After Trauma: A Workshop for College Employees
12:50 p.m. (April 12), 5 p.m. (April 13), O’Brien 117

April 13
YWCA Table
Noon to 2 p.m., Reamer Campus Center

April 15
Planned Parenthood Table
Noon to 2 p.m., Reamer Campus Center

April 18
Healthy LGBTQ+ Relationship Workshop
Co-sponsored by The Pride Center of the Capital Region and the LGBTQ+ Affairs Committee
12:50 p.m., Reamer 308
12:50 p.m.

April 19
Planned Parenthood Table
Noon to 2 p.m., Reamer Campus Center

April 20
RESIST: Self-defense Workshop
Co-sponsored by Panhellenic and the Department of Campus Safety
6:30 p.m., Old Chapel

April 21
Title IX Community Data Meeting
Webinar Invitation to follow

April 27: DENIM DAY!
A Call to Men: An Evening with Tony Porter
6:30 p.m., Old Chapel

To get involved in Sexual Assault Awareness Month:

  • Wear teal, the official national awareness color, and let others know why. Post a selfie with the hashtags #SAAM2022 or #ITSUPTOU.
  • Wear denim on April 27 for Denim Day 2022.
  • Follow the Office of Title IX on Instagram, @uniontitleix.
  • Review local resources for sexual violence including emergency services, mental and emotional support and legal services.
  • Donate to the YWCA of Eastern New York or Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, which, in partnership with Union, serve as free, confidential resources for students who have experienced gender-based misconduct.
  • Request a training or educational program for your club, organization, team or department.
  • Visit the Title IX website to learn about resources, support services, community policies and procedures.

The first nationally recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month was coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in 2001. April was officially proclaimed as SAAM eight years later.

Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim, an 18-year-old assaulted by her 45-year old male driving instructor, wore tight jeans. Women in the Italian Parliament expressed their outrage by wearing jeans to work. In the U.S., the first Denim Day was organized in 1999 by Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. Worldwide, the annual event involves more than 12 million people.