SAFER club enters second year

150 students pile into the auditorium and wait for the club meeting to start. Then four upperclassmen, clad in pink, stand up and start the forum.

The SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) club started its second year at Lincoln on October 3.

Their goal is to end sexual assault in the Lincoln community through education and awareness.

“Sexual assault is inevitable, it’s going to happen, but it doesn’t need to happen in this community,” says senior Lea Kapur, one of the six leaders of the club.

The club is led by Kapur, junior Tori Siegel, junior Maggie Satchwell, junior Sophia Modica, junior Julia Ziegler, and senior Paige Lutz.

Last year, SAFER put together a survey about sexual assault and sent it out to students. The responses were moving and were read by different classmates and helped motivate their efforts this year.

“Sexual assault isn’t a foreign idea, it’s local and it’s happening,” said Kapur.

The club gives students an outlet to discuss sensitive issues that may be uncomfortable. At the club’s first meeting this year, members were asked to help define consent and to discuss rape culture.

The club also strives to teach those who are not members about these issues.

Last year, SAFER led consent lectures – talks about sexual consent, rape culture, and safety – for the freshmen class.

“[The lectures] went really well. We got really positive feedback and it was a great experience. I don’t think it could have gone better,” says Siegel.

This year, SAFER is working on continuing the lectures for freshmen and holding them at West Sylvan Middle School, as well.

“In my sex-ed at West Sylvan, we did not have any kind of comprehensive sex education: no discussion of consent, no discussion of rape culture or sexual assault. Kids are having sex earlier and earlier and it needs to be taught and kids need to know how their action affect others,” Siegel says.

The club recently postponed Girls Night Out – a sleepover event where Lincoln girls bond over fun activities – due to scheduling conflicts, but is still planning on running the event soon.

“We are going to try to redo the event later in the year when we have a stronger club base,” said Kapur.

But the next big task that the club is working on is photographing Lincoln’s Varsity Football team in pink t-shirts that read “Got consent?”

Through the club’s outreach to football team, SAFER hopes to increase male attendance at its meetings.

“We want to create an environment so that more guys want to come,” said Kapur. “We want to talk about issues that are more important to [men], and if [they] can’t relate to us then, we are going to bring in male guest speakers come in and talk to our guys.”