LoboRESPECT and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity set up thousands of plastic Solo cups in Smith Plaza on Monday to start a conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. Student group Revoking Silence also joined in for the cause.
The Solo cups represented students at UNM that could experience sexual violence in their lifetime. While the plastic Solo cups are commonly associated with alcohol consumption by college students, LoboRESPECT wanted to send a stronger message to students. 90 percent of college rapes occur when alcohol is involved.
A total of 4,129 cups lay on the ground in Smith Plaza. There were 3,760 red cups to represent the 1 in 4 female Lobos that risk being affected by sexual violence in their lifetime. The remaining 369 blue plastic cups represent the 1 in 33 male students who will experience some form of sexual assault.
Kyle Stepp is a student coordinator for LoboRESPECT. The group raises awareness about epidemics students face, one of the biggest being sexual assault. Stepp said that the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and student group Revoking Silence are sending the message that sexual assault needs to stop and it’s not going to happen on our campus.
Revoking Silence and Alpha Tau Omega worked together to make the event happen. The fraternity’s current pledge class set it up and provided the cups. Stepp said that he hopes this display will bring awareness and start a discussion.
“The conversation about sexual assault needs to happen. It’s on us as students to stop it. The only way to stop it is to talk about it,” Stepp continues, “It’s time for us to protect the pack.”