West Virginia University Student Government Association senator Shannon Cawley will be hosting an event alongside Planned Parenthood on Wednesday.
The event will act as a press release for the "Unite for IX" campaign being funded by Planned Parenthood. The campaign is designed to resist the changes for Title IX proposed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Cawley, a second year English and political science student from Weirton, West Virginia, takes issue with DeVos’ policy change and hopes this event will help provide awareness and a platform for those impacted by sexual assault.
"This event is taking place in order to spread awareness of our campaign to the media, and answer any questions anyone may have about our plans moving forward," Cawley said.
The reform proposed by DeVos was announced earlier in the year during an address at George Mason University. DeVos’ changes included adding a "both sides" approach which focuses on both survivors of sexual assault and those who have been accused.
"There is no way to avoid the devastating reality of campus sexual misconduct: lives have been lost. Lives of victims. And lives of the accused," DeVos said in regard to the change in policy.
Cawley doesn’t feel this is enough, and believes the Obama-era regulations shouldn’t be discarded. She believes the issue is pressing and should be handled immediately to aid survivors.
"Sexual assault is prevalent not only at WVU, but across the country at college campuses everywhere," Cawley said. "We want to change rape culture and we want it done in a way that is powerful."
Cawley said that the campaign will create a platform for survivors to feel supported, and give them the strength to come forward.
"I am so thankful for the opportunity to partner with Planned Parenthood in order to combat an issue that is so personally important to me, I am excited to advocate for survivors at WVU and hopefully will be able to foster a community that believes, supports and uplifts its survivors as well as continue to provide preventative education," said Cawley.
The event will be taking place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the WVU Women’s Resource and LGBTQ+ center.