This semester, upperclassman advertising students are launching a campaign that deals with a weighty topic: sexual assault.

Professor of Communication Dr. Megan Moe and her Advertising Campaigns class have chosen to use their first project to advocate for victims of sexual assault and promote awareness.

Moe decided on the topic after talking with recent alumni, who had difficulties after experiencing sexual assault on campus.

Moe was close with one student in particular whose story and heartbreak inspired this campaign.

“These were people who really didn’t know resources and felt in some way abandoned when they were here,” Moe said. “Just in speaking with them, I realized there is a lot of information that students don’t know, either about presenting assaults or supporting people who have been assaulted or about how you can find help and resources if you have been assaulted. I just thought there are a lot of things students could know that would really benefit them.”

The class is designed to walk students through an advertising campaign from beginning to end.

For this project, students have been broken up into teams to develop their own goals for the end product.

Junior advertising major Isaac Barrick is a group leader for the class, and his team’s goals include spreading awareness of sexual assault and available resources and contacts, as well as providing information about Title IX and the ambassador on campus that can be utilized as a resource.

Barrick said he wants to use this opportunity to provide a wealth of information and awareness that Lee students may not currently have.

“This campaign is very near and dear to my heart…so I think it is going to be really important that we implement all of our research and that we really spread awareness that there is help and there is comfort—just that people are not alone in what they are going through,” Barrick said.

Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator Amy Ballard said it is crucial for students to know they have a place to turn regarding instances of sexual assault.

According to Ballard, broadcasting these resources and making them accessible will be the key to the success of the campaign.

“[The success of the campaign] would take the student body itself, embracing it and realizing the importance of it,” Ballard said.

“Whether they are themselves someone who has found themselves in the same type of situation or have a friend or loved one who's found themselves in that type of situation, when they know they can relate to it on a personal level, at that point they take it as their own—and so then what they are passionate and concerned about they will then take it to others, and so it is that trickle effect,” Ballard said.

“If we can reach a couple of people and show that we are aware and we are here and we want to support, then they reach others as they go forward,” Ballard continued. “It's going to take the student body accepting it and being interested enough to ask questions.”

Moe, Barrick and Ballard all hope to see the campaign grow beyond this class. Moe and Barrick expressed interest in eventually hosting a chapel service to address this topic head-on in the future.

For more information about the campaign, contact Dr. Megan Moe at mmoe@leeuniversity.edu.

For more information about Title IX, contact Amy Ballard at aballard@leeuniversity.edu.

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