ACU hosted its first “1 is 2 Many Campaign” Tuesday night to promote personal safety and awareness of sexual misconduct.
The event included speakers such as Chris Riley, vice president of Student Life, Jimmy Ellison, ACU chief of police, and Lori Bunton, advocate for Abilene’s Regional Victim Crisis Center.
Bunton and her team of volunteers and students challenged the audience to “stand up” and say something when presented with a variety of sensitive situations, such as date rape and sexting.
Lt. Randy Motz of ACUPD said these situations, while sometimes made to be jokes in mainstream culture, are in fact real and very serious.
“All of those scenarios happen at every university and have happened at this university, but what we want everyone to know is that it doesn’t have to be that way,” he said.
Motz is hopeful that through a Biblical perspective on dating and by honoring the true value of women, people can make a difference in culture.
“I’d like to see a change at all universities, but specifically, I’d like to see a change at this university,” he said.
Ellison expressed ACUPD’s commitment to on-campus safety at ACU and informed the audience of some services the department extends to students.
“All in all, we have 25 employees dedicated to making sure you guys are safe every year,” Ellison said.
Ellison believes that steps such as communicating expectations for a relationship can help prevent potentially harmful future conflicts.
“One of the things that I think is critically important to remember is establishing appropriate boundaries in a relationship on the front end,” he said.
Mark Lewis, dean of students, believes the presentation is the first of many conversations by which ACU will better connect to the study body and provide a public forum to discuss other difficult topics.
“We want to be transparent,” Lewis said. “Part of being innovative, exceptional and real is being able to address what’s going on around us and not act like we don’t see it or we don’t hear it. It would be wrong of us, as a university, to ignore those issues or pretend that we are insulated from those issues.”