Saginaw Valley State University leaders say a series of student-produced public service announcement videos are aimed at strengthening the campus’ sexual assault prevention education efforts.
Those six videos will be screened publicly for the first time during a short presentation Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 3 p.m. in SVSU’s Groening Commons.
The videos were created as part of a contest related to SVSU’s sexual assault prevention education program known as Bringing in the Bystander. Each video features dramatized situations demonstrating students avoiding sexual assault or helping peers avoid sexual assault.
The videos eventually will be played during on-campus student events including SVSU’s movie-screening series known as Valley Nights, organizers say.
Michele Gunkelman, SVSU’s director of residential life and one of the Bringing in the Bystander program trainers on campus, said the lessons provided in the videos will be powerful for students in part because they are watching their peers advocate for better judgement in critical moments that can lead to sexual assault.
“These videos show their peers experiencing situations that, unfortunately, are too common for college students,” Gunkelman said. “We want our students to be able to intervene in those situations. With these videos, our students are learning these lessons from people they can relate to.”
SVSU’s Bringing in the Bystander sexual assault prevention program began in 2016. Since then, more than 400 people — including students, staff and faculty — have been involved in the initiative’s training workshops on campus. The program advocates for participants to pass along those lessons to peers who have not attended the training sessions. The goal, Gunkelman said, is to impact every student on campus in a positive way.
The video contest was the latest initiative of SVSU’s Bringing in the Bystander, which in March received a $25,044 grant from the state of Michigan to continue the program. SVSU staff and students formed a panel of judges to determine the video contest's award recipients.
In total, 17 students in six groups produced the winning videos. Each group received awards ranging from $500 to $100.