25th Annual Walk for Awareness remarks by Bindu Jayne, Title IX Coordinator

September 2, 2014 / Appalachian State University
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello everyone. My name is Bindu Jayne and I am the Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Compliance and the University’s Title IX Coordinator. As a new member of the Appalachian community (I’ve been here for about 2 months), I am moved, humbled and inspired by the outpouring of support for issues of interpersonal violence that affect our community. We all are here – faculty, staff, students and community members – to take a stand and say in a united voice – you are not alone.

In my role as Title IX coordinator, I am charged with ensuring that our university is responsive and proactive in dealing with gender-based violence. As committed as I am to this work and despite the countless hours I work to try to make our university safer, the responsibility is not mine alone – it is ours. So, I ask you to focus on this feeling of community that surrounds us tonight and remember a few things:

  1. If you see something, say something.
  2. Your safety is our priority.
  3. We, as administrators, want to help. Support, care and advice are always available to you.
  4. And – it can’t be said enough – you are not alone.

Though the tragic circumstances of 1989 had nothing to do with consent, issues of interpersonal violence often hinge on that central concept. At Appalachian, in our Code of Student Conduct, “consent” is defined as clear, knowing, voluntary, and sober permission, through words or actions, for another individual to do something that affects the individual giving consent. Consent is based on choice and must be informed, freely and actively given, and mutually understandable, indicating a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

There are offices and people across this campus that can provide support, care and help a victim-survivor navigate the process. As a friend, classmate, advisor, professor, administrator, staff member, or a general community member, please remember these resources and refer anyone you know who needs help. Our campus will be safer when we all take ownership for the well-being of all our community members.

Thank you to Chancellor Everts and Dean Emerita Barbara Daye for your support and remarks today. And special thank you to the Interpersonal Violence Council, and especially Judy Haas and Suzette Patterson for all the hard work you put in to making the 25th Walk for Awareness so special. And of course, thank you to all of you for taking the time to stand together and honor the legacies of Jeni Gray and Leigh Cooper Wallace.

Have a great night and be safe.