Kessler, Kulhavi halls present 'Casino Night,' inform students of sexual assault prevalence
As students shuffled through games of poker, blackjack and euchre, Kessler and Kulhavi residence hall council members dealt their best hand, and sneakily placed stickers on participant’s cups to prove just how easy it is to be drugged in a distracting area.
The halls combined forces to host "Casino Night" to educate students on sexual assault while providing a social gathering for their residents Monday night.
“Throughout the event, we placed stickers on people's cups to represent the date rape drug,” said Victoria Vanhout, a Saline sophomore. “We want to open the eyes of college students and show how simple it is to be drugged.”
The event was held in the Carey Hall Lounge in the Towers from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Attendees were offered free Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway sandwiches, and 20 poker chips sponsored by the Residence Hall Assembly.
Each chip was worth one credit, in which the top two players with the most chips were granted $20 gift cards to Buffalo Wild Wings or Celebration! Cinema.
Kulhavi President and Canton freshman Shelby Harris spoke with Vanhout to make the night possible.
“This is a fun night for our residents to let loose,” Harris said. “We are all entering that time when things are more tense and stressful, and this event lets us take a break together.”
Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates representative and Detroit senior Joshua Taylor provided general statistics regarding sexual assault.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, on a campus of CMU’s size, an average of 25 assaults occur each week, equating to nearly four a day.
"The perpetrator is definitely the problem, but it is also a problem if others are aware and not taking action," he said. "It’s up to us, being the standbys, to prevent this from happening. Just knocking a drink out of someone’s hand can prevent this. Don’t be a zebra.”
Throughout the event, Greenville junior Mackenzie Bracey who serves as the Kessler Residence Hall Council treasurer, went around to the four tables and placed stickers on cups while students were distracted, and also asked students if they needed a drink or refills.
“We are just trying to make people more aware of this problem on college campuses,” she said. “People did not really notice the stickers, and I was hoping that they would. I just want people to be safe. Hopefully this idea will be passed on for all to know.”
Both the first and second place winners had stickers on their cups that they did not notice.
“I had no idea of the stickers ... I thought I was just going to be playing poker and blackjack,” said Cedar Springs sophomore Raymond Edwards. “It’s discouraging and disgusting to know how easy it is to take advantage of one another.”