Code T.E.A.L. week raises sexual assault awareness

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Code T.E.A.L week, taking place November 3-7, is a week dedicated to promoting sex positivity and awareness of sexual assault on DePauw University’s campus.

Code T.E.A.L, a movement to change the culture surrounding sexual assault on campus, was started by Feminista, a club devoted to women, five years ago. This year for the first time, a club has formed with intentions of bringing more awareness to the cause outside of Code T.E.A.L Week.

Members of Code T.E.A.L. sit at the Hub and talk with students
to raise awareness about sexual assault during Code T.E.A.L. week.
LEXY BURTON / THE DEPAUW

“The acronym T.E.A.L is not an accident,” said sophomore Charlie Douglas, a key participant in the Code T.E.A.L movement at DePauw. The acronym T.E.A.L. stands for: Talk, Educate, Advocate and Listen. Through conversation, people will be educated about the issues pertaining to sexual assault. When people are educated, they are able to serve as advocates for the issue, as well as for survivors. Advocates can get the community to listen to the message.

“I think it’s important to educate people and start a conversation about sexual violence because, unfortunately, sexual violence does occur on this campus and we can do something about it,” said Claire Halffield, sophomore Code T.E.A.L. member. “It’s 100 percent preventable.”

Events scheduled during the week are intended to educate students and get campus talking about a prevalent issue. These events include tabling each day during the lunch hour at the Hub, providing “consent cupcakes” to students and putting on “our stories,” a powerful evening in which real stories from DePauw students are portrayed by actors.

Many people may have noticed the large cutout elephants seen in the hub next to the Code T.E.A.L. table. These are in place to address the “elephant in the room,” or bystander intervention.

Currently on campus, Panhellenic encourages discussion among chapters about issues of sexual assault, bystander intervention, and more broadly rape culture. It is a goal of Code T.E.A.L to facilitate similar discussions among IntraFraternal Council chapters.

By starting small with a goal of two talks a year and growing as the movement does students will become educated in a manner that is not overwhelming. As well as in a way that does not turn them against discussion of the topics.

“First semester freshman year, we were beat over the head about bystander intervention,” said sophomore Carsen Trinkino. “I like that Code T.E.A.L hopes to have events spread throughout the year.”

The club has high hopes for redefining the culture of sexual assualt, specially on a campus when it is so rarely discussed.

As Douglas said, “Our main goal is to have Code T.E.A.L not have to exist in the future.”