The Title IX office at Siena College — a Catholic college of about 3,000 students in Loudonville, NY — is a small but mighty operation. We spoke with Title IX Associate Danielle Joyce about collaborating with Title IX Coordinator Lois Goland, students, and the school’s marketing team to create a beautiful campus NO MORE campaign that features powerful posters and public service announcements (PSAs).
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the Title IX office at Siena College was on the hunt for a thought-provoking project on the issue of campus sexual assault. Last year, in another effective campaign, Siena created posters that showcased student attitudes on sexual assault prevention. This year, after discovering the original celebrity NO MORE PSA campaign — spearheaded by Joyful Heart Foundation in partnership with NO MORE — Joyce decided to try something different.
“We liked the way these [NO MORE] campaigns challenged you to acknowledge certain stereotypes that are frequently used. These are stereotypes that we often hear people echo or may even use ourselves.”
– DANIELLE JOYCE, TITLE IX ASSOCIATE, SIENA COLLEGE
Joyce was drawn to the accessibility and truthfulness of the campaign’s message, which was developed pro bono by Rachel Howald. As Joyce put it, “We liked the way these campaigns challenged you to acknowledge certain stereotypes that are frequently used. These are stereotypes that we often hear people echo or may even use ourselves.” In talking with students about the campaign, she also recognized the effectiveness of substituting students for the celebrities in the videos — noting the power of peer education on the issue of sexual assault prevention.
The students at Siena were eager to participate in this campaign. “Within a week, we had 15 students ready to act and participate in the PSAs and posters.” This group included both young men and women, and consisted of individuals from student groups all over campus.
The response from students, faculty, and staff has been overwhelmingly positive — both on campus and online. In the first week after its launch, Siena’s campaign reached 2,385 out of 2,700 possible students on Facebook and Instagram. The response to this campaign illustrates the power of young people starting serious conversations about harassment, assault, and victim blame.
Joyce recognizes the power of those conversations. We asked her what, as a Title IX professional, she wants every student to understand about sexual assault prevention. She first highlighted the importance of obtaining ongoing consent in sexual situations, and wants students to remember that consent to one sex act does not imply consent to another. Any person, in any sexual situation, should be able to freely give or withdraw their consent at any time.
She also pointed to the essentiality of bystander intervention, especially on college campuses. She encourages young people to look out for one another, and to speak up in potentially harmful situations.
“So often we see things, and we feel in our gut, ‘That’s not quite right,’ but we’re so embarrassed to speak out. I encourage all students to trust their instincts and to proactively intervene when they see something that they know is wrong. Maybe it won’t always look cool, but you will be helping someone you care about.”
Learn more about how you can be an engaged bystander here.
Information like this should be readily available to students. Joyce suggests that projects like the one Siena created could change how students view their Title IX offices. “We’re hoping that, through these types of campaigns, our office will be viewed on campus as as resource for students. We want to be there for those that either are working through difficult situations, or who have friends who are working through difficulties. I hope the impact is that our office becomes better known to students as a place that they can come when they — or people they care about — need someone to talk to or resources to heal.”