By Camille Cox | Staff Writer
The Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office held “Wear Teal Tuesday” on campus on April 19 to promote sexual assault awareness and provide resources for students.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), with the color teal being a symbol of sexual violence prevention. April 2022 marks the 21st official recognition of the month.
“The Baylor community is encouraged to recognize SAAM and show support for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by wearing teal — the color of sexual violence prevention — throughout the day,” the event description reads. “The event offers a chance to learn about the resources available and options for support through the Equity Office.”
Tracey Tevis, education and prevention specialist within the Title IX team, said having a table on Fountain Mall during “Wear Teal Tuesday” allows the office to connect with students on campus.
“This is an event for the Baylor community, faculty, staff and students to come and just get to know our office better,” Tevis said. “Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to ask questions, get to know more about us and our office and what resources and support we can offer the community.”
At the table, the office had T-shirts, pins, barcodes to scan for more information and the Waco Cha truck, offering a free drink to visitors.
“A lot of times, people think that you can only come to our office if you’ve experienced harm, but you can honestly come to us just with questions,” Tevis said. “One of the things I love personally about the role I have is that I can have conversations with students about a variety of topics: setting boundaries, what exactly is consent and how do you know that you have consent, how do I set healthy relationship characteristics within a relationship — not only an intimate relationship but also with friends and family.”
Effy Misnick-Neal, Tevis’ graduate assistant within the Title IX office, said she works to reach the largest audience she can for the office’s events to spread awareness.
“When I was a freshman, there wasn’t a large equity office presence on campus,” Misnick-Neal said. “I didn’t know about the resources until I was put in a position where I had to find out, unfortunately. I think what Tracey is doing, just making leaps and bounds, is so much more impactful.”
Following “Wear Teal Tuesday,” the office is hosting guest speaker and Olympian Maggie Nichols, who was the first athlete to speak out and voice her experience of sexual abuse with Dr. Larry Nasser. Nichols told her story in the popular documentary “Athlete A” and will speak to the Baylor community at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Foster 240.
“She made huge progress in the world of speaking up,” Misnick-Neal said. “Her speech is so empowering, and she’s there to support and make sure people feel they can be empowered to be heard and speak up themselves.”
Additionally, the office will host a “Move it Monday” event at CycleBar in Waco to learn more about sexual assault prevention.
“We ask that you bring one donation of a stuffed animal, as they will be given to the Waco Advocacy Center, who continue to support victims of violence and abuse,” the event description reads. “Participants will receive a free Equity Swag Bag!”