Students brings sexual assault awareness group to Texas A&M campus

Sydney Whigam, theater arts junior, was assaulted on campus in January. During the early stages of her grief, Whigam was told about an organization, “Not On My Campus,” at another university from a member involved in the club.

Not On My Campus is a national campaign geared towards raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. Now as the president of the new A&M chapter, Whigam and other members are hosting a kickoff event in Academic Plaza and the MSC Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s important for students who have gone through this to know that they aren’t alone,” Whigam said. “As someone who has been sexually assaulted, I feel like it is important to know that even though we’re one of the greatest universities in the world, we’re not invincible. These types of things can happen here. But it’s important to let our fellow Aggies know that they are important and loved, and that it wasn’t their fault.”

Chase Whittet, communication senior, fraternity chair for NOMC, and a member of Pi Kappa Phi said he strives to bring awareness to both the Greek and non-Greek community on this issue and end silence on campus.

With sharpies in hand, members of NOMC will encourage passersby to write, “Not on my campus,” on their hands and post a picture on social media with the hashtag “#NotOnMyCampusTAMU.” Students are also encouraged to sign the online pledge to find out more about how to help break the silence surrounding sexual assaults.

Franny Hebner, education freshman, serves as the head of communications for the A&M NOMC chapter. Hebner was at the kickoff event Tuesday encouraging students to take a picture with structures that the founding members of NOMC made. The structure consists of four outlines of people cut from wood — three of which are painted maroon, and the fourth which is covered with shattered glass.

“What this represents is that one in four women will be sexually assaulted at some point throughout their college career,” Hebner said. “We used Sydney’s great idea to put shattered mirrors on one, so that when you look you could be the one in four because it’s not really something you think that could happen to you until it happens to you or someone close to you. It’s something different that we wanted to do. It’s different than just a banner — people will stop and look at it and be able to take pictures with them.”

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