By: Royce Jones, Point Park News Service
Amid the powerful response and presence of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, Point Park University is going beyond the hashtag to show students how to handle sexual harassment on campus and in the workplace.
The interactive panel titled “#MeToo: What’s Next?” will allow students and attendees to speak with industry professionals across several disciplines about the dangers of sexual harassment they could face in their future careers. Featuring seven panelists, the event is set to take place March 8 at 3:00 p.m. in Point Park’s Lawrence Hall Ballroom.
The topic of sexual misconduct was the inspiration event leader Title IX Coordinator Elizabeth Rosemeyer had when planning the #MeToo panel discussion. With alleged abusers including television news anchor Matt Lauer, Olympic doctor Larry Nassar and film producer Harvey Weinstein, it is clear sexual harassment is present in all industries.
“The more we talked about it, it became really obvious that it doesn’t matter if you’re in COPA or business school or communications, you see sexual harassment. [We wanted to] use some of the resources and contacts we have in the community and on campus to be able to have a real discussion with students,” Rosemeyer said.
At Thursday’s event, Nancy Mosser, owner of Nancy Mosser Casting, will address sexual harassment issues in the talent industry while KiKi Brown, a WAMO 100 radio personality aims to address matters regarding the media industry.
The panel will also feature professors to provide a personal perspective to the proposed issue. April Friges, assistant professor of photography, is set to discuss her own personal experience with sexual harassment in the photography field.
This panel will also give students the opportunity to weigh in on the discussion, ask questions and interact with panelists.
Point Park Managing Director of Marketing and Public Relations Louis Corsaro, an event leader alongside Rosemeyer, said he’s interested to see what questions and concerns students have about their potential career fields.
Corsaro also said he hopes the event will teach students and prepare them for issues they might face. He believes there isn’t a “magic bullet” to combat these types of issues and wants students to walk away with a realistic perspective about things that go on in the real world and how to handle them.
Point Park’s student health center, student counseling center and Title IX Office provides a number of ongoing resources and support for students and victims of sexual harassment.
When reporting an incident of sexual abuse, students can contact Rosemeyer, university police, faculty or staff members. Point Park faculty are required to go through a criminal background check which would flag any child abuse misdemeanor convictions, Rosemeyer said.
Though there are many channels for students to report an incident of sexual harassment, only a small percentage of victims report these incidents.
According to the RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), only 20 percent of college females in the U.S. report sexual misconduct. Rosemeyer discovered that Point Park had an even smaller percentage of all students reporting incidents of sexual harassment.
“Less than 10 percent of students who experienced sexual assault let the university know, but about 7-to-8 percent of students tell their friends,” Rosemeyer said.