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CASA: Spreading Awareness, Giving Support

A+display+in+the+Student+Union+near+Starbucks+that+shows+the+importance+of++consent+and+spreads+awareness+about+victim+blaming.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Felicia+Rosin%29
A display in the Student Union near Starbucks that shows the importance of  consent and spreads awareness about victim blaming. (Photo courtesy of Felicia Rosin)

A display in the Student Union near Starbucks that shows the importance of consent and spreads awareness about victim blaming. (Photo courtesy of Felicia Rosin)

A display in the Student Union near Starbucks that shows the importance of consent and spreads awareness about victim blaming. (Photo courtesy of Felicia Rosin)

By Brooklyn Dennison, Editor-in-Chief

The Coalition Against Sexual Assault is a student organization at The University of Akron that spreads awareness and gives support on topics like sexual assault and domestic violence.

CASA is a relatively new organization that started after the president of the organization, Felicia Rosin, was inspired by the Walk of Heroes, a fundraiser event that supported the Rape Crisis Center of Media and Summit Counties, last fall.

After the event, Rosin said she reached out to the dean of students, who recommended CASA. CASA had existed at the University before, but it was not an official student organization and the previous members of CASA had left or graduated, Rosin said. Rosin was the student who made it an official organization.

CASA functions as a normal student organization, they do events and fundraisers, but the members also serve as the student representatives for the SAVE Team at the University. The SAVE Team is the Sexual Assault and Violence Education Team, which develops programs and services at the University with the goal of preventing sexual violence.

As a newer organization, CASA has already done a number of events and fundraisers. Earlier this semester there was a clothing display in the Student Union. The display consisted of various outfits surrounding a whiteboard that read, “No matter what we wear or where we go, yes means yes and no means no!” The purpose was to end victim blaming and spread awareness about consent.  

Last October, the members of the organization had another display in the Student Union for domestic violence awareness month. They had a display where students could write notes to survivors of domestic violence.

In October, the members also hosted an escape room during the Root Beer Kegger at UA. The escape room was to simulate the difficulty of getting out of a violent relationship, Rosin said students who participated in the escape room were given a scenario where they were in a long-term relationship that had become abusive. Getting out of the escape room was essentially getting out of the relationship. Participants had to find the means to get out of the escape room, with obstacles along the way that mimicked being in an abusive relationship.

Rosin said there were about 80 participants for the escape room.

In November, members of  CASA have several events planned. For the entire month of November, members of the organization are collecting new or used and in good condition pajamas for women and children for the Battered Women’s Shelter. Some locations for the pajama collection boxes include Bierce Library, the Honors Complex and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Members of CASA are also doing a fundraiser on Nov. 21 at Chipotle on Exchange Street. If students order and mention CASA, 50 percent of the price of their order goes to the organization.

“CASA is inspiring because it’s unique. Many student orgs don’t have a completely student-run advocacy group,” Rosin said. She said it was also heart-warming to see students who were not necessarily affected by the issues they cover be compassionate about the issues.

CASA general meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month in the Student Union at 5 p.m., Rosin said. The room that the meetings are held in changes every month, but students who would like to attend can look at CASA’s OrgSync page for details.

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