Much-needed awareness

Published 1:36 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

The student awareness and activism at the two institutions of higher learning we have here in Prince Edward County never ceases to amaze me.

Clad in red high heels, students from Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) took part in the Walk A Mile In Their Shoes event at Longwood, raising awareness about the causes, effects and remediations of sexual misconduct.

The joint effort between the two colleges included a group of male H-SC and Longwood students walking a mile across campus in their heels.

The event, worthy of the media attention it received through the stellar reporting and photography of Herald Sports Editor Titus Mohler, seeks to raise awareness of an ongoing problem on college campuses — many of which struggle to find solutions to dispatching the issue.

Those institutions across the nation should look no further than this event as a starting point.

Sasha Johnson, who helped organize the event, is the education and prevention coordinator in the office of student conduct and integrity at Longwood. She said 21 percent of transgender, genderqueer and non-conforming (TGQN) students have been sexually assaulted across the United States.

That percentage deserves repeating, which Johnson did during the event.

“This is compared to 18 percent (of) … the number of non-TGQN females and four percent of non-TGQN males,” Johnson said.

Sexual misconduct can be found, not only at institutions of higher learning, but in communities across Buckingham, Farmville, Prince Edward and Cumberland.

As highlighted by this event, it’s important we learn and recognize the signs of such activity, giving us the tools to identify where a problem could exist.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia. His email address is Jordan.Miles@FarmvilleHerald.com.