AAUW Awards Campus Action Project Grant
Dakota State University has been awarded a 2011–12 Campus Action Project (CAP) grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for Drama, Digital Storytelling, and New Media Campus Action Project, which will work to address and prevent sexual harassment at middle and high schools.
This project uses the special abilities of DSU students in drama, digital storytelling, and new media to develop and deliver a half-day workshop for area middle and high school students, and educators, to increase awareness of the incidence of sexual harassment in schools, as well as to discover and practice ways of dealing with it.
The project is a collaboration between Stacey Berry, project co-advisor and Assistant Professor of English for New Media, Kelly McLeod, project co-advisor and DSU Director of Theatre, and Maureen Murphy, president of the Madison AAUW chapter and Associate Professor of English and Professional and Technical Communication. Berry reports that the faculty and students who will be working on this project are grateful for the award from AAUW and look forward to having a positive impact in the community.
Each year, AAUW selects a project topic based on its mission statement. The 2011–12 CAP teams will focus on the issues raised by AAUW's 2011 research report, Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, which found that during the 2010–11 school year, 48 percent of surveyed students in grades 7–12 experienced sexual harassment. Of the respondents, 56 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys said they had been harassed.
AAUW picked seven projects from around the country that tackle the prevalent problem of sexual harassment in middle and high schools. Selected projects will include focus groups with students and workshops, materials, and documentaries to help educate students and communities about sexual harassment and how to prevent it.
"Crossing the Line is a call to action, and these teams are answering that call," said Kate C. Farrar, AAUW director of leadership programs. "They represent great examples of how campus staff and faculty, students, and AAUW members can work together as leaders to ensure that our schools are safe for our children."
DSU plans to send a group of students to present the team's project at the May 31–June 2, 2012, AAUW/NASPA National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland, College Park. This annual conference helps young women connect with other students and successful women while honing their leadership skills for their work on campus and in their communities.