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Panel aims to create conversation on campus about the male role in sexual violence

%28From+left+to+right%29+Sophomore+communication+major+Brandon+Partridge%2C+government+and+justice+professor+Matt+Robinson%2C+student+conduct+interim+director+James+Lorello%2C+junior+political+science+major+Smit+Patel+and+senior+political+science+major+Reginald+Gravely+serve+as+panelists+for+the+Men+Speaking+Out+Against+Violence+Panel+at+Crossroads+on+Wednesday+night.+Photo+by+Nicole+Debartolo++%7C++The+Appalachian
(From left to right) Sophomore communication major Brandon Partridge, government and justice professor Matt Robinson, student conduct interim director James Lorello, junior political science major Smit Patel and senior political science major Reginald Gravely serve as panelists for the Men Speaking Out Against Violence Panel at Crossroads on Wednesday night. Photo by Nicole Debartolo | The Appalachian

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Five male panelists sat on the stage of Crossroads Wednesday night while an audience of 80 listened to them answer moderated and audience-generated questions about sexual violence.

The forum, Men Talking About Sexual Violence, was presented by Appalachian State University’s Women’s Center and was sponsored by Amnesty International, the Red Flag Campaign and the “Its Up To Me” Campaign.

The goal of the panel discussion was to create a conversation surrounding men’s role in sexual violence, whether the role is how men contribute or how they can be a part of the solution, event coordinator and Amnesty International chapter president Patrick Long said.

“These challenging conversations could have the potential to change a culture,” Long said. “If one person is changing for themselves that affects the people around them.”

The discussion during the event revolved around questions that addressed topics such as catcalling, definitions of sexual assault, methods of intervention, race, victim blaming and role reversal.

(From left to right) Sophomore communication major Brandon Partridge, government and justice professor Matt Robinson, University Housing-Operations interim director James Lorello, junior political science major Smit Patel and senior political science major Reginald Gravely serve as panelists for the Men Speaking Out Against Violence Panel at Crossroads on Wednesday night. Photo by Nicole Debartolo  |  The Appalachian
(From left to right) Sophomore communication major Brandon Partridge, government and justice professor Matt Robinson, Student Conduct interim director James Lorello, junior political science major Smit Patel and senior political science major Reginald Gravely serve as panelists for the Men Speaking Out Against Violence Panel at Crossroads on Wednesday night. Photo by Nicole Debartolo | The Appalachian

Panelist, and Interim Assistant Director of Student Conduct James Lorello shared his knowledge on the role culture plays in defining masculinity and the effect that has on sexual violence in many of his answers to forum questions.

Lorello said that he suggests men should become more aware of their actions and how they can affect women, for example, realizing when they are making someone uncomfortable.

Another solution to male-to-women sexual violence would be starting at the root of how society defines masculinity, Lorello said.

Other panel members included senior political science major Reginald Gravely, junior political science major Smit Patel and sophomore journalism major Brandon Partridge.

“It is in our code of conduct that if you are drunk or under the influence then you are unable to give consent,” said Matt Robinson, final panel member and Appalachian government and justice studies professor. “If you don’t ask her and she doesn’t say yes, thats rape.”

 

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