This year’s USUSA presidential candidates have all made it a goal to try to prevent sexual assault at Utah State University, but they each have different ideas on how that should be done.
Rachael Fresh, Michael Scott Peters and Sawyer Hemsley have all helped with campaigns and participated in events to raise awareness of the issue. Fresh believes education is the best way to prevent sexual assault at Utah State. She plans to reward clubs and organizations that receive sexual assault prevention training during the Fall 2017 semester by personally endorsing them and giving them a monetary reward.
“I know that this will make a difference because it will give students knowledge of the process, where to turn for help and how to help their friends and roommates,” Fresh said.
In addition to her reward system, Fresh also hopes to continue the “Heroes Not Victims” event created by current USUSA president Ashley Waddoups.
Peters believes sexual assault isn’t a result of a lack of education, but a lack of gender equality. He hopes that promoting a more gender-equal campus will help sexual assault become less of an issue.
“I want to advocate against sexual assault through the promotion of gender equality,” Peters said. “By doing this we can create a community where sexual assault is not tolerated and survivors are supported.”
Like Fresh, Peters hopes to continue events like “Heroes Not Victims” if elected president.
According to Hemsley, the issue of sexual assault needs to be better publicized at Utah State. Hemsley said he hopes to have a lecture series that will advocate for sexual assault prevention. He would also like the President’s Cabinet to work with Utah State’s Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information office to host an event that will spread awareness of sexual assault prevention resources on campus.
“It is the responsibility of the president to work with the upper administration to make sure resources are readily available to students and provide them with a safe and inviting atmosphere,” Hemsley said.
Waddoups said she hopes whoever becomes next year’s president will continue to work hard to make students feel safe at Utah State.
“Helping people understanding the reality and prevalence of sexual assault was my biggest goal,” Waddoups said. “Next year’s president will still have a lot to do.”
USU students will be able to vote for their new president online at vote.usu.edu or at voting booths on campus from Feb. 27 until March 2.
The election winners will be announced March 3 at noon in the Taggart Student Center.