President Jennifer Henry wants to come up with new concepts for raising
awareness of and preventing sexual assault. So with the help of other
SWI members, she crafted an ambitious plan to share ideas and practices
on the sensitive subject with other students and sexual assault
prevention advocates across the state.
On Friday, May 6, SWI will host a Sexual Assault Prevention
Conference that Henry believes is the first of its kind in the state.
The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in Meredith Hall, 2805
University Ave., and is free and open to the public.
The idea first developed after Henry visited the University of
Michigan to check out grad school, when talks of a recently hosted
conference on sexuality sparked an idea for an event she could create at
“It had been completely student driven, and in the middle of the
night one night I got it in my head that I wanted to do a conference on
sexual assault,” said Henry, who graduates this spring with a law,
politics and society and history double major.
So far, representatives from off-campus organizations such as the
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Waitt Institute for Violence
Prevention and Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Services are among the
attendees, in addition to students from area universities and colleges.
The event is co-sponsored by Drake’s Women’s Studies program.
“The idea was to create an environment where we can collaborate with
other activists at Iowa universities and colleges and see how we can
adapt and share ideas and make better and more effective programs,” she
Henry is excited to explore new ways of drawing attention to an
important topic, either in addition to or instead of expected annual
events like “Take Back the Night.”
The conference also complements Drake’s current initiative to hire a
sexual assault coordinator — a solid step toward addressing campus
safety concerns. Henry believes these kinds of efforts showcase how
committed the campus community is to fostering a safe, respectful
environment for students.
“The schools that are having these really proactive conversations
are the places you want to be sending your children,” Henry said. “I
think this will be a major step forward for the universities involved.”
Sexual Assault Prevention Conference
Drake University Students for Women’s Interests will host a
conference addressing ideas for raising awareness of and preventing
sexual assault. The event is co-sponsored by Drake’s Women’s Studies
When: 9 a.m. ““ 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 6
Where: Meredith Hall, 2805 University Ave.