CMC Advocates

Marketing events on sexual health education, striving to engage apathetic college students

Logo Design I developed for Advocates

Context

CMC Advocates is a student group that supports survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence on campus. Advocates are trained officials that can guide survivors through the Title 9 process and support them through the recovery. In August 2017, CMC Advocates realized that they can further help survivors by educating students on how to be a safe sexual partner. I joined them in their education initiative, using design to help market events and create educational experiences.

event one

Sex Week

In partnership with the O.School, CMC Advocates held a week of sex education events called Sex Week. Sex professionals and doctors came to campus to talk about how to set boundaries, how to vocalize consent, queer safe sex practices, life and sex with a lifelong STI, and sex after trauma. Students learned how to be safe when they or their partner has an STI, sexual trauma, and knows what consent looks like as well as vocalize it.

To engage students to come to events, I wanted to create flyers that caught attention through bright colors and content that was high arousal as well as surprising. Research has found these components to stimulate a strong emotional arousal and in turn, are held in the audiences' memories longer.

The graphics became symbols for Sex Week and were incorporated in every marketing strategy.

 

In the end, we had over 750 people attend the week, with well over 300 people attending the carnival!

The Dean of Students was so excited about our work and success that they worked with the student health clinic to get free STI testing for the  following month and hope to make it an annual occurrence! 

event two

Fresh Check Day

This year Claremont McKenna College participated in Fresh Check Day, which is a day of events to bring awareness to mental health. CMC Advocates was asked to hold a booth to educate on depression and anxiety after sex-related trauma and distress.

Survivors of sexual assault tend to struggle with feelings of being dirty, unworthy, and undesirable after their assault. These emotions are overwhelming and can trigger depression and extreme anxiety. In order to overcome those feelings, survivors must accept and become at peace with them.

Designing the Experience

I wanted to CMC Advocates booth to encapsulate that strategy of making peace with negative feelings. I wanted visitors of the booth to be able to practice and experience making peace and letting go of negative emotions. I hoped that through this experience, they would be able to see how powerful the strategy is and remind themselves to utilize it in their daily lives.  

I designed the booth to be an interactive experience.

     The first step in acceptance is acknowledge the emotion's existence. 

To emulate that processes, visitors were given small sheets of dissolving paper and told to write down a negative feeling that has been weighing down on them recently, such them being "not worthy" or "dirty". The process of writing down the feeling mirrors the process of acknowledging.

    The next step in making peace with negative emotions is letting go.

Many survivors will attack the negative emotions they experience, telling themselves they are stupid for feeling such a way. However, this is extremely destructive and only feeds the negative emotions.  It was important that the "letting go" portion of the experience taught visitors that letting go is a slow and gentle process. Thus, visitors were asked to take their piece of paper and place into a bucket, so that the paper would slowly dissolve away. By not asking the visitors to rip up or burn the paper, visitors were taught that in order to truly make peace with an emotion, after accepting it they must let it was away and not attack it.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event, but a friend was kind enough to take a photograph of the activity!