Student made quilt providing awareness regarding sexual assault

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The "Pack" is making a "Pact" at Arkansas State University, with the Pack Pact to Act for Change Together now underway.

This campaign is a series of events throughout the spring semester designed to raise awareness about sexual assault issues and work toward positive changes.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Lori Winn, said Monday kicked off A-State's Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

"April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month," Winn said. "So, this whole week all of our events will focus on that. Today was the unveiling of our quilt. When we started planning for this week, we wanted to find projects that would engage faculty, staff, and students. We reached out to the Art Department and the Department Chair was so willing to help, and the students and faculty actually came up with the quilt idea. And we had the opportunity to work with them and to meet the students and really get to know them though this project."

Monday morning, they unveiled the Jean Pocket Quilt.

Designed by A-State students and faculty, the blanket is made out of the pockets of jeans.

Students are invited to write an encouraging note to survivors of sexual assault or tell their own story and leave it in one of the blankets pockets.

Senior Peyton Newlon said she feels like this is going to get people talking.

"Showing this off in the Student Union," Newlon said. "All the students walk by and see it. This can really help bring awareness and prevention."

"For us, it's a quilt of passion," Winn said. "It's a quilt of support and it shows everyone's commitment to what we're working towards. Creating a culture of respect and support for our students."

Winn said she felt like everyone involved with this project took something away from it.

"For the students, it's an opportunity to work on a project," Winn said. "But it's a passion for them. I think it shows they are committed. That they have an opportunity to share their stories. I think several of the students have stories to tell. For faculty, I think it's just an opportunity for us to work together and to use the creativeness of our campus and our faculty from an educational perspective to continue to educate through other means, through the art."

Newlon said she and her fellow classmates are thrilled with the support they're receiving from Chancellor Damphousse and A-State's faculty.

"This is so great," Newlon said. "Dr. Damphousse is really wanting to implement the Pack Pact, which promotes sexual awareness and prevention. And he's very passionate about that and I think all of our students should be super passionate because we don't want our campus to be a scary place. We want everyone to be safe and aware of all the different things that are happening in the nation, and we don't want anything bad to happen on our campus."

Winn said most of all, they want their campus community to know they have the help and resources there for them should they be needed.

"The University has programs in place to support our students, faculty and staff through sexual assault," Winn said. "That we educate those individuals and that they know, and they learn that we are here for them. And that we create a culture of respect where people can make a difference."

They started working on the quilt at the beginning of the year.

It will hang on the first floor of the Student Union throughout the spring semester.

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