New club stands up against sexual assault
November 12, 2009
The new Noble Scoundrel Social Club is open to UW-River Falls students, targeting men’s athletic teams, lead by Mark Huttemier, personal counselor, and Corey Phelps, health education coordinator.
“[Sexual assault] is an issue on every campus. We have a responsibility to take action,” Phelps said.
“Statistics suggest that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in college. That statistic has to be seen as scary…if we care about the women and men this will affect…we have to do something. Men have to understand that they aren’t just part of the problem, they are going to be part of the solution,”
Rob Andrews, area coordinator, who is also helping out with the club, said.
The new club was formed as part of a grant and advocates males to stand up to sexual assault. UWRF men’s athletic teams are the first students being targeted for the new club.
“We want to plant a seed in their minds,” Huttemier said. “We want the guys to be the leaders and step up in raising awareness [about sexual assault].”
“Sexual assault has for a long time been viewed as a women’s issue…it should be noted that 99 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men. I think the challenge for us moving forward is to get men involved in the issue. [To] help them to see that it should be a men’s issue as well,” Andrews said.
When asked why it is important for men to step up and be the leaders on this issue, Wade Guerin, a sophomore on the men’s basketball team, said, “I’m not sure if men think it is cool or ‘in’ to sexually assault women in any way, but I feel it’s time for us [men] to step up and start setting an example for everyone else.”
“If we can step up and start speaking out about this issue simply by words or actions, I think we can help this cause go a long way. Attend meetings, set examples, be a reasonable person or simply just do to others as we would have them do to us…if we can accomplish this here at UWRF, this message will go a long way,” Guerin said.
According to the program information, the Noble Scoundrel Social Club is a group of highly visible and admired UWRF students who agree with the groups basic pledge to respect and protect the physical and sexual boundaries of all women they come into contact with while attending our school. Members of this team who sign the pledge will get a shirt to wear as they please.
The brown t-shirt has a picture of a frontier man on the front and states “making mom proud since the day I was born.” The pledge on the shirt reads: “I pledge to boldly uphold the duty of the noble scoundrel to honor and protect all women by not participating in physical or sexual violence against them or just standing by while it occurs.”
According to the program information, wearing the shirt is a way of showing respect for all women who have played an important role in the student’s life.
Keeping the pledge will reflect the student’s sense of honor and duty to do their small part to stop lesser men, with no sense of honor, from trying to control or manipulate women through the use of physical force.
“I think it is important for men in general to do this because it is mostly men who are the ones sexually assaulting women…if men in this generation step up and stop the violence now there is a lesser chance of it happening to the next generation,” Joe Gangl, a junior on the men’s football team, said.
The pledge and shirt will be available in the weeks to come as presentations are made to UWRF men’s athletic teams.
“This is the year to get [the club] out there,” Huttemier said. Next year’s plans are in the works where the club will also be presented to UWRF female students.