Red Flag Campaign returns to campus

Joshua Farmer

Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter Inc. has partnered with the Office of the Dean of Students to launch the Red Flag Campaign on campus after a one-year hiatus in 2012.

“The Red Flag Campaign is a campus-based social marketing campaign designed to raise awareness and educate people about being active bystanders,” said OASIS Prevention Coordinator Jessica Pittman.

OASIS started the Red Flag Campaign on campus in 2010.

Pittman said that the campaign “encourages people to say something if they see a ‘red flag’ on campus.”
Red flags include harassment, stalking, abusive relationships, coercion and sexual assault, Pittman said.

Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Conduct Judy Haas said the partnership with the Office of the Dean of Students “just makes sense” because the office is more accessible to a larger student base.

The Red Flag Campaign is a social marketing campaign, but through the work of professor of sociology Amy Dellinger Page and OASIS it has become a “very interactive program,” Haas said.

Haas said training events, called “Train the Trainer,” will be held every Monday in February as a “skill building component” and will teach skills to be used when confronted with interpersonal violence.

“We are trying to train students to do this and pay it forward,” Haas said.

Haas hopes students spread the knowledge they learn in training sessions. Students will attend one training session and then sign up to attend a second session to become a trained trainer, she said.

“The Red Flag Campaign is really a partnership campaign,” Haas said. “We are not a standalone other than doing these workshops for how to train the trainer.”

As of now, 50 trainers have been trained, and that number will “just continue to build and grow,” Haas said.

Senior psychology major Rebecca Swofford is a trained trainer and will be at the training sessions held on campus this month.

Swofford said that through the training sessions she hopes to be able to “equip people with the ability to pass on this information, as trainers, to their organizations and friends throughout the Appalachian State community.”

“The Red Flag Campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance,” according to theredflagcampaign.org.

Haas said Appalachian has bought the rights to use the Red Flag Campaign.

“Regardless of whether or not you know it, you probably know someone who has been a victim of interpersonal violence,” Swofford said. “No one should have to face that kind of violation, pain and struggle and it’s up to us, the community, to stand up and do something about it.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter