The Garfield Messenger

What’s Up With SAAC

A look at Garfield’s sexual assault awareness club.

Tea Fortune

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The Sexual Assault Awareness Club, or SAAC, which was created at the beginning of this school year, is a group of students at Garfield who discuss how to make Garfield and Garfield-affiliated events a safe place to talk about sexual assault. SAAC meets officially every Thursday in room 232, where all students are welcome and can talk about the ways they can spread sexual assault prevention awareness around the school, including giving lectures and making posters. On Wednesday is the clubs designated pre-planning time, where anyone interested in leadership meets to plan their official Thursday meetings. SAAC doesn’t have officers but rather whoever shows up can help facilitate discussions.
“Our goal is to get students to have more of a voice. Students need more of a voice because teachers don’t really listen. The school could work better as a whole,” said Paige Anderson, a junior at Garfield and a leading member of SAAC.
On March 28th, several members of SAAC had the opportunity to speak at a staff meeting, where they worked with Garfield faculty on ways to carefully handle topics of sexual assault and consent in classrooms.
“We talked about being aware of things like trigger warnings,” said Anderson, “and giving them a perspective through the students to understand.” The student speakers referenced real-life situations Garfield students had endured.
It took SAAC two months to make this staff meeting happen, as it was repeatedly rescheduled.
“ [As] someone who’s new to the building, I quickly realized we weren’t responding fast enough,” said Mr. Al Snyder, who is a history teacher at Garfield. After the meeting on Wednesday, the staff have continued to discuss these issues that were at hand, and some have even talked about these prevention methods in their classrooms.
“I realized that I wasn’t being careful about the content I was putting out in the classroom” said Mr. Snyder.
Aside from their main goal, SAAC members have other aspirations for their new club they want to achieve within Garfield and in the larger outside community. SAAC hopes to increase their club’s membership.
“We definitely want to collaborate with other clubs within the school. We probably won’t be able to do it this year but next year we are looking to collaborate with other clubs in the school” said Anderson.
If you want to know more about SAAC and be apart of the movement be sure to come to their meetings on Thursdays.

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What’s Up With SAAC