Students organize event in response to Wally Awards uproar

By Dora Totoian | April 18, 2018 4:19pm

UP students have organized an event in response to the Wally Awards uproar called "Reaffirming Pilot Values."
by Sam Keeler / The Beacon

Several on-campus groups will host an event Thursday night in response to the incident at the Wally Awards. Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA), Service and Justice Coordinators, Feminist Discussion Group (FDG) and other groups are organizing “Reaffirming Pilot Values: Assessing Rape Culture, Sexism, and Misogyny.”

SASA President Abby Sherman explained that the groups felt the need to hold the talk to facilitate a wider campus dialogue by and for students. Instead of focusing on the events of Sunday night, Sherman said, the groups want to foster a larger community conversation about misogyny and rape culture at UP and beyond. 

The event will feature speakers from various organizations on campus and will conclude with participatory allyship in the form of attendees writing messages on notes and then hanging them up on a banner in the auditorium. Sherman will speak on behalf of SASA, Sitara Nath will speak as the SJC of Kenna Hall and as next year’s ASUP president, Tom Bornhop, an RA in Villa Maria Hall next year and the bystander intervention captain for UP’s It’s on Us, will speak, Sarina Saturn, a UP psychology professor, will speak as will Pasha Spencer, head coach of the rowing team. 

Sherman said she hopes that the event will help members of the UP community reaffirm what she considers their Pilot values and to promote honest dialogue and self-reflection. She also noted that the student organizers are acutely aware that UP is in one of the busiest times of the year, wrapping up the school year and preparing for graduation, but that nevertheless, students should make it a priority to attend. 

“There are a lot of emotions running high right now, and I think that if we direct those emotions in a productive and collective effort, actual change can happen,” Sherman said. “We can change our culture and change the way we address these issues.” 

The event will be at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 in Buckley Center Auditorium.