University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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Speakers Visit UW-Eau Claire to Raise
Awareness About Sexual Assault and Alcohol

 MAILED:  Aug. 26, 2004

EAU CLAIRE - Speakers Katie Koestner and Gordon Braxton will try to raise awareness among incoming University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire freshmen about sexual assault and alcohol use during campus presentations Sept. 9.

First-year students will participate in the interactive male-inclusive presentation, "He Said-She Said," at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

Koestner, a nationally known speaker who visited UW-Eau Claire last year, will begin the program with her keynote speech "No-Yes," in which she discusses prevention through respect. She will share with the students her personal experience with sexual assault as an 18-year-old, first-year student.

Braxton will talk about the role alcohol plays in sexual assault and about issues of oppression. He has spoken at schools all over the East Coast but will be visiting UW-Eau Claire for the first time.

"'He Said-She Said' was a remarkable program last year," said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, Associate Dean of Student Development at UW-Eau Claire. "We are very excited to bring this program back to campus so that our students may gain understanding about these serious issues. The speakers' presentations are powerful and I am sure will make a significant impact on our students."

Thesing-Ritter said although the information that will be shared is important to everyone, the university presents this program in the fall with new students particularly in mind.

"We know this is a time when many incoming freshman, who may be living away from home for the first time, feel pressure to participate in high-risk activities," she said.

Koestner earned degrees in public policy and women's studies from the College of William and Mary. After her assault, she started her own company, Campus Outreach Services Inc., to provide 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.

Braxton, a graduate of the University of Virginia, began his work as a race relations activist but eventually came to believe that many forms of oppression are interrelated and focused his attention on the oppression of women and gender violence. For the past several years he has presented the "One in Four" program on sexual assault and acquaintance rape in both co-ed and all-male environments. In 2002 he was awarded the Men of Vision Award from Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault and also received the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award for humanitarian service from the University of Virginia.

Earlier in the day, the two speakers also will offer a faculty and staff training session at 3 p.m. and a student leader student leader training session at 5 p.m. in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center. The goal for these sessions is to present new or additional information and build on knowledge gained last year.

The "He Said-She Said" presentations are sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Activities and Programs Office, Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault, Housing and Residence Life, New Student Orientation, Office of First Year Experiences, Student Development and Diversity and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The program is part of the Phase II orientation coordinated by Advising/New Student Initiatives.

For additional information, e-mail Thesing-Ritter ( or Jacqueline Bonneville (, or call (715) 836-2325.



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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: August 19, 2004