University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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Speakers to Raise Awareness About
Sexual Assault and Alcohol Use

 MAILED:  Aug. 20, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — Two nationally known speakers will try to increase awareness among incoming University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire freshmen about sexual assault and alcohol use during presentations Sept. 4 on campus.

The first-year students will participate in an interactive presentation, “He Said—She Said,” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in Zorn Arena.

“We are very excited to have an initiative in place for all first-year students that focuses on these serious issues,” said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life at UW-Eau Claire. “The speakers’ presentations are powerful and I am sure will make a significant impact on our first-year students.”

The speakers, Katie Koestner and Brett Sokolow, have gained national attention for their male-inclusive approach to discussions about sexual assault and alcohol use.

The program will begin with Koestner’s keynote speech, “No-Yes,” during which she discusses prevention through respect. Koestner will share with the students her personal experience with sexual assault as a first-year student.

Sokolow will then talk about communication and consent, and the role that alcohol and other drugs play in sexual assault. Sokolow will involve the audience by having them listen to a sexual assault case as if they are the jury. The “jury” eventually will vote on the case, and Sokolow will moderate a discussion about the case.

“The information that will be shared is important to everyone, but particularly important to our youngest students who may be living away from home for the first time,” said Thesing-Ritter. “We’re offering this program as the fall semester gets under way, since we know that is a time when many incoming freshman feel pressure to participate in high-risk activities.”

The two speakers also will offer a faculty and staff training session at 3 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center and a student leader training session at 5 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

After being sexually assaulted at age 18, Koestner started her own company, Campus Outreach Services Inc., which provides educational programs on the issues of sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence and healthy relationships. She has spoken to more than 800 colleges, universities, military institutions and high schools across the country trying to raise awareness on the issues of date rape and sexual assault. She’s also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Life, Larry King Live, Entertainment Tonight and others.

Sokolow is a specialist in campus safety, security and sexual assault policy and law. He is the president of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, a company that provides consulting and seminars on sexual assault/harassment, campus security, hazing and problem drinking and drugs. He’s presented programs for students at more than 500 colleges, high schools and military institutions.

The “He Said—She Said” presentations are sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Activities and Programs Office, Housing and Residence Life, New Student Orientation, Office for Business and Student Service, Office of First Year Experiences, Office of the Vice Chancellor and Student Health Services.

The Phase II Orientation Committee and First Year Experiences Office secured grant dollars to fund the speakers’ visit.

For additional information, contact Jodi Thesing-Ritter at (715) 836-3630 or


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
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Updated: August 20, 2003