University Police and student leaders are teaming up to spur a campus conversation and raise awareness about sexual assault prevention and support programs available at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
On Sept. 10, 12 and 13, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln police car, officers from the University Police Department, and members of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska will come together for “Cover the Cruiser.” The events will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to pledge that they will speak out and stand up against sexual and relationship violence.
The events will also have a visual impact as each pledge — which will be made on “Use Your Voice” cards — will be stuck to the police car. When complete, the pledges will be removed from the car and put on display in the Nebraska Union.
“It is my hope that the cruiser is completely covered and then some at each event,” said Hassan Ramzah, interim chief for the University Police Department. “This is an opportunity for the entire campus community to come together and show their support for and start a larger discussion about a very important topic.”
ASUN unanimously supported participation in the event, passing a resolution during its Sept. 4 meeting. The bill cited two statistics from a University of Michigan study — 21 percent of college students reported they experienced dating violence by a current partner, and that 32 percent of those surveyed experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
“Those numbers are much higher than I expected and, they also show the need for us to do more in terms of education about sexual assault and the support programs we have available at this university,” ASUN president Emily Johnson said. “Partnering with the University Police Department is a great opportunity to raise awareness and to set the tone for this academic year.”
The Cover the Cruiser events are 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. The Sept. 10 event is on the East Campus Mall, while the Sept. 12 and 13 events are on the Nebraska Union Plaza.
“We encourage every member of the campus community to come out, talk with us and take a stand against sexual and relationship violence,” Ramzah said. “Getting involved and making a pledge — even a very simple one — will promote safety, awareness and education.”