On Feb. 3 at Memorial Chapel, The Panhellenic Sorority Council and Safe Space screened the documentary, ‘The Hunting Ground’ and held a discussion run by the new Title IX coordinator,
Melissa Kelly. Supriya Poonati, a counselor from the Wicker Wellness Center, was also present. The showing received a large turnout: about 100 students came, including many students involved in Greek life and Safe Space. The showing of the movie occurred first and pizza was provided to all attendees.
“We thought pairing the film with a Q & A session with Union’s Title IX Coordinator would be an effective way of bridging the gap between what’s happening on other campuses across the nation and confronting the issue of sexual assault on our own campus. I believe we were successful in continuing that conversation and opening up the dialogue,” stated Aubrey Griffin ’17.
The discussion after the screening gave students a way to discuss options available to people and also allowed students to be introduced yo Melissa Kelly.
Although not many questions were asked during the discussion, it was very informative and allowed Kelly to not only introduce her position and what she does and plans to do, but to inform people about resources on campus.
Kelly answered a student’s question about where to find Union’s statistics on sexual assault and rape that occurred on the campus.
“The purpose of the event was to screen ‘The Hunting Ground,’ a powerful documentary about sexual assault on college campuses nationwide. Melissa spoke after the screening to introduce herself and her plans for the campus community as the new Title IX Coordinator. She was able to inform the audience of some of the school’s policies and resources in regard to sexual assault and explain her role in raising awareness and combating this issue if and as it arises on our campus,” said Griffin.
“I think the film affects all those that watch it in a multitude of ways. It’s the type of film that you walk away from thinking about all the things that you could or want to do for your community. It’s also a difficult film to watch; that in and of itself has an impact on our community. I think that any event that can help to bring together a group of students and encourage them to talk about really difficult or complicated issues is a successful event. No one walks away from watching ‘The Hunting Ground’ feeling good about what they watched, however, good can come from students who have a better understanding of how we can move forward in a positive way,” stated Melissa Kelley.
This was the second showing of ‘The Hunting Grounds’ by The Panhellenic Sorority Council, the first occurred in April of 2015. A documentary, ‘The Hunting Ground’ came out on Feb. 27, 2015.
The film is a powerful account from several victims of rape and sexual assault on college campuses, bringing to light shocking statistics and inactivity of colleges.