Rep. Tom Reed met with student athletics at Keuka College (Keuka Park, Yates County) Thursday (August 21). The students make up the male and female soccer teams who were practicing on campus before the rest of the students arrive this week-end. After an introduction by the College President, Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Rep. Reed got to the real reason of the visit—to talk to the athletics about the “No More” Campaign. He asked if they had heard about “No More” and a few raised their hand; one explained that “No More” dealt with stopping domestic violence and sexual assault.
Rep. Reed told the students that the genesis of the “No More” campaign was the rape of his niece. As a high school senior she was raped at an event after the Senior Prom by two acquaintances. Reed went into the aftermath of the rape, the court case and his niece’s testimony, the counseling, how the event affected her family, and ways the extended family supported her.
Rep. Reed pointed out that college campuses have a very high rate of sexual abuse acts, and most of those occur in the first six weeks after a student either enters or transfers to a college. Rep. Reed explained to the upper class athletes that as student leaders, younger students look up to them. It is their responsibility to set the culture of the college. They could be a great help if they would be able to talk about sexual abuse with new students.
Rep. Reed praised Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for her support and the work she has put into the “No More” Campaign. The campaign’s web site has a “Toolkit” section which is worth exploring. It gives 15 Activation Tools, which can be down loaded. The tools include: NO MORE Guidelines, NO MORE logos, NO MORE Postcards, NO MORE Twibbon (like a bumper sticker for your Twitter or Facebook profile picture), NO MORE Posters, Sample Social Media Posts and more.
This was a good experience for the students. A few girls asked questions, mainly about advice in helping victims, and ways to help the new Keuka students who will be arriving to campus next week. Even though the boys didn’t ask questions, it was important for them to be involved in the presentation.
The “No More” campaign is a welcome relief to what we as a nation have experienced in the past few years. It is good to see what government leaders, especially those of different parties, working together can accomplish.