Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett spoke to nearly 70 Newman students, faculty and staff members April 27 at the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center. Bennett’s talk was titled, “Our responsibility to Intervene: Ending Sexual Violence.” His message to the attendees focused on education, awareness and prevention of sexual assaults.
“We wanted to do something for April as Sexual Harassment Awareness Month, and [Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice] Kristi Barton Edwards suggested bringing in the DA,“ Newman’s Title IX Coordinator Bo Bonner said. “It was not only her idea, but her quick and diligent work made everything come together so smoothly. She is truly the reason this went so well.”
The Title IX Task Force sponsored the event as part of the university’s continued efforts to provide training on prevention, reporting and education on resources available to the Newman students and community.
“It is one thing to hear about sexual harassment prevention from administrators, and another to hear this information from someone ‘in the trenches’ as it were,” Bonner said. “It is not only powerful to hear about actual cases, but empowering to hear that real good can be done throughout the community from someone who has seen the difference first-hand.”
Bonner explained that Newman’s goal in highlighting Sexual Assault Awareness Month and bringing Bennett to campus for his talk and question and answer session are far more than adhering to federal rules.
“What this month demonstrates, and hopefully the talk did as well, is that we are primarily concerned as a Title IX Task Force not simply with abiding by government regulations, but with fostering a communal responsibility toward one another. A safe and interdependent learning community is what we hope our efforts foster,” Bonner added.