Caroline Wallace ‘23
Jane Chavez ‘23 is a junior psychology major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also happens to be involved with the student organization on campus known as “RPE.” “RPE stands for Relationship Peer Educators,” stated Chavez, and “it is a peer education group on campus that implements sexual prevention education.” Additionally, RPE is a private peer resource for students, so the method of reporting sexual assault or relationship violence is different than other mandated reporters. Chavez has been involved with RPE since her first year on the hill, and when I asked her why she initially wanted to become involved she attributed it to her “lack of sexual assault prevention education that I received in high school.” Students become familiar with RPEs within their first few days on campus. The RPEs teach active bystanding and other sexual assault prevention methods to incoming first-year students during their fall orientation. They also help to make students aware of other resources and ways to report aside from RPEs so that students, from the beginning of their time at Holy Cross, know that if they were to experience some form of sexual violence, they would have support.
This semester, the RPEs are finally able to resume their normal activities that COVID had previously prevented. One of the notorious activities of RPE is the Stall Street Journal. The Stall Street Journal is a paper that you have probably already seen on the back of a bathroom stall on campus. The journal provides students with different statistics regarding sexual assault as well as ways to report sexual assault if it were to occur. They also make sure to include other fun facts. Most recently, the writers of the Stall Street Journal included some fun facts about Halloween in their October edition.
Another activity that the RPEs are co-sponsoring with Fem-Fo is the “One Love” workshop. This workshop is part of a “foundation that was created about the warning signs of abuse and how to navigate relationship violence,” stated Chavez. The One Love foundation was founded after Yeardley Love was murdered by her abusive boyfriend while attending University of Virginia. The foundation works especially close with college students in order to foster more healthy relationships between students.
For more information about RPE, students can follow their instagram page: @hcrpe. The instagram page is constantly providing students with statistics and other information around the topic of sexual violence so that students become more educated.