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A spirit that is not afraid

EDITORIAL | The Red Zone: What to know

With the beginning of a new school year and the one-year anniversary of the sexual assault protests at Auburn University nearing comes a dire need for students to reflect on the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses and the ways we can combat it.

The time period spanning from the start of the fall semester to thanksgiving break is a busy and exciting time for students — filled with an array of events and opportunities. However, in the midst of all the fun, there is a certain danger that presents itself as well. 

The #MeToo Movement labels time spanning from the start of the fall semester through Thanksgiving break as “The Red Zone,” stating that more than 50% of all college sexual assaults are found to occur during this period.

Just because the emails from Auburn University Campus Safety and Security have not flooded students’ inboxes so far this semester does not mean that sexual assaults are not happening. 

Auburn University is in the thick of the Red Zone, and students must keep a few key things in mind.

First and foremost, victims/survivors of sexual assault are never at fault. It is up to society to teach people to not rape or assault.

Likewise, although awareness is being spread, progress is being made and resources are becoming more available, that does not mean that you are always safe. 

Of course, students should take advantage of the public resources that are provided to them, but they should also make sure they are always taking personal measures as well, as public resources can fail and should not be depended on alone. 

The Auburn community's sexual violence resources include the Safe Harbor Sexual Assault Advocacy Services, the Title IX Office, Rape Counselors of East Alabama, Auburn Police Division, East Alabama Medical Center and the Auburn Police Division Crime Stoppers Tip Line. 

Other resources students can take advantage of are Buddy Walk, a feature on the Auburn Safety app that allows students to have their friends temporarily see their location, the Safe Zone Exchange, a location on campus monitored by police for Auburn University students, faculty and staff to trade legal items bought and sold online or to conduct child custody exchanges and the night security shuttle.

Students can also take part in Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training in addition to EverFi, a sexual assault prevention course required by Auburn University for incoming freshmen.

In addition, Auburn University offers PHED 2200: Self Defense for Women, as an elective in both the fall and spring semesters.

According to the 2021 Auburn University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, there were 10 reported rapes in 2020, nine of which occurred in student housing facilities. That same year, there were three reported cases of fondling. 

This doesn’t even begin to account for the amount of unreported sexual assaults that occurred that year and continue to occur.

Sexual violence is prevalent on college campuses, and the Loveliest Village on the Plains is not an exception. 

Although you should never live in fear, you should always remember that you have the power to hold people accountable, educate yourself, spread awareness and bring change. 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Plainsman's editorial board and do not necessarily represent that of the entire newsroom. 

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Editorial Board | Fall 2022

Editorials represent the majority view of The Plainsman's editorial board and do not necessarily represent that of the entire newsroom. 

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