In partnership with One Voice Atlanta, a service organization focused on increasing awareness for sex trafficking, SGA recently released “What If? – Georgia Tech,” a one minute video focused on ending sexual violence on Tech’s campus.
“The goal of the video was to encourage the conversation on campus around sexual violence prevention. We hear from administrators, faculty, and staff, but we as students hold a substantial responsibility in finding the solution and ending sexual violence on campus,” Macie Whatley, SGA Vice President of Communications, said.
Anna Arnau, President of One Voice, added, “When I wrote the script for the video, I wanted to empower students and let them know that we all have the opportunity to change the conversation on campus.”
The video, although short in length, was certainly not short in impact. By containing clips of male students discussing sexual violence, SGA and One Voice sought to tackle the issue from the lesser-seen male perspective.
“The primary message of the ‘What If’ video is that everyone must be engaged in the fight to end sexual violence on our campus. Men have typically been left out of the conversation and are often seen as instigators of violence rather than as partners in finding a solution,” Dillon Roseen, Student Body President, said.
The male students that participated in the video viewed the experience as truly rewarding, as many knew individuals who were survivors of sexual assault.
“This issue of sexual violence is something that hits close to home for me in that I have numerous friends at Tech that are victims of rape, assault, or other forms of harassment,” shared Matt Josey, a speaker in the influential video.
The participants, also, felt inspired by the video and hoped the”What If” video would carry out a message beyond that of empowerment.
“My hope is that the video will not only just empower people to take action but comfort those that need encouraging words,” Chad Sims, another speaker, said. “Let our friends and fellow jackets know that someone is looking out for them.”
With the sexual violence white paper and task force recently created to help revamp the way the Institute responds to and prepares for this major issue, the “What If” video acts as another way to address the concern. SGA, personally, hopes to seek students’ opinions on this topic.
“SGA is actively seeking student opinion, and videos are a great way to get responses. SGA was involved heavily with the initial white papers, and we want to continue to have a hand in this issue as it greatly affects student life on campus,” Whatley claimed.
As Tech has again been in the headlines for the infamous Rape Bait email and allegations against the disbanded Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, the “What If” video uses this recent attention to rightly address the sexual violence issue. Instead of turning a cold-shoulder, the Tech community confronts the issue head-on.
Arnau emphasized that their goal was to seize and opportunity to say that sexual violence on campus is “not okay.”