SDSU professor discusses sexual violence

by Lauren Spinelli, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s Associated Students hosted a “Conversation About Consent and Sexual Violence” on Nov. 12 in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union’s Montezuma Hall.

The seminar, presented by SDSU professor Jeffery Bucholtz, is part of the effort to end sexual assault and sexual violence at SDSU. Bucholtz is also co-president of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and member of SDSU’s Sexual Violence Task Force.

Bucholtz’s talk highlighted how sex is portrayed in pop culture and how that influences behaviors. People see the way sex is shown in the media and pop culture through songs or movies, and that gives them an untrue representation. Bucholtz says this has caused society to be unprepared and allows people to to talk about it in a way that hurts social progression.

“Campus police are a small piece of a larger puzzle about how we keep our campus safe,” he said. “Changing the way that students behave and treat each other, or the way that we talk about sex, the way that we talk about gender, that kind of stuff has as much importance to it as a criminal justice process. That’s what’s going to prevent it before it happens.”

The theme of the talk was that actions and choices matter. Bucholtz explained the idea that the language used amongst peers can have an impact on preventing sexual assault. Using derogatory language toward peers can fuel sexual violence, he said, but the school is working to turn that around.

“Imagine a jury full of people with the same stereotypes that the students on this campus hold,” Bucholtz said. “Are they going to believe that she walked in there and it wasn’t her fault? Or are they going to blame her?”

The talk also aimed to inform the public that efforts are being up put into place to combat sexual assault on SDSU’s campus.

“It’s not like nothing is happening now,” Bucholtz said. “There’s a lot already happening, and I think it’s a disservice when any media source prints something or posts something that makes the situation sound dire as if there is no hope. The problem with that is that that shuts victims down. It shuts survivors down because they think the situation is totally screwed, everything sucks, I’m never going to get justice in this system and that’s not actually accurate — there are a lot of people who have.”

There will be two sessions of a sexual assault forum, at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in Montezuma Hall. The forum will encourage communication between the campus community and the administration to talk about current programs, voice opinions and give feedback to the university. Programs SDSU is initiating to combat sexual assault will be discussed.

“There’s a long way for SDSU to go,” Bucholtz said. “SDSU is moving rapidly to make a significant impact in preventing and responding to sexual violence on this campus and I firmly believe that.”

Aztecs for Awareness posted about the event on their Facebook page.

“Bucholtz was not only hilarious, but effective in educating the audience of an important message,” the post read.

The organization raises awareness and provides education about sexual assault and violence to encourage SDSU students to be proactive about prevention.

For more information on Bucholtz’s efforts to combat sexual assault at SDSU, visit