After speaking up in class about sexual assault prevention and how student-athletes can make a difference, Jillian Gearin decided to put her words into action.
The Emerson softball infielder organized a sexual assault awareness night to coincide with the team’s doubleheader against Babson on April 14, and spearheaded a fundraising effort that has collected $2,271 for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN promotes itself as the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
Donations are still being accepted online until the end of the month. Gearin said athletes can use their pedigree to take a leadership role on campus.
“I was talking about how sexual assault is a really big deal on college campuses and how there should be student-athletes standing up to it more, and I realized I was kind of just talking the talk and not walking the walk, being a student-athlete,” Gearin, a junior, said.
Refreshments were served at no charge during the game, and fans were asked to contribute to the fundraiser in return. Sexual assault statistics were also distributed on index cards to facilitate conversation, Gearin said.
Emerson players wore teal T-shirts prior to the doubleheader, with SAAM printed on the back to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Gearin and sophomore Alena Jones designed the shirts. Gearin said Emerson also sported bows, and gave a set to opponent Babson to wear.