College begins as the first day of the rest of our lives. We discover our passions, make lasting friendships and learn skills that will take us further into our future careers. New experiences, new friends and new environments await you, and the world seems to be your oyster. Memories are being made on the campuses of any university, The first 13 weeks of school mark homecoming, the opening of new clubs and the beginning of the Red Zone series.
During the first weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, more sexual assaults happen on college campuses around the United States than any other time during the school year. These first 13 weeks of the semester have become known as the Red Zone.
This is the third year that The Northern Light will be writing the Red Zone series. The Red Zone series is so much more than teaching the public about rape, it is a tool for those who have been assaulted or abused and don’t know who to turn to. It is a way to bring safety to our campus. We care about our students and staff, and we want everyone to feel like they are in a safe environment. If they don’t, we hope that this column will direct them to help and the resources they need to succeed. In each edition of The Northern Light until Thanksgiving, there will be a featured Red Zone article that discusses the issues our community faces.
According to The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, male college students ages 18-24 are 78 percent more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault. Standing Together Against Rape, or STAR, states that over 50 percent of adult women in the Municipality of Anchorage have been a victim of partner violence, sexual violence or both in their lifetime.
The goal of the series is to decrease the stigmatization of sexual assault and rape on our campus and to provide knowledge for students on issues less spoken about. This series isn’t targeted towards a specific demographic or gender, it is meant to provide knowledge to anyone and everyone in the community. This is not a gender issue, this is a human issue.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, please contact the University Police Department at 907-786-1120 or the Title IX office at 907-786-4680.