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Susan Irving

Susan Irving

Susan Irving

Sarah Tarter

What’s something that you care about and at times are too shy/scared to talk to anyone about?

I think talking about gender-based violence and mental health can be a scary thing. The whole “me too” movement thing that’s been going on on Facebook; I think that’s incredible because it has given people a platform to talk about this ugly thing that we never talk about unless it’s happened to you and you’re recovering from it. Seeing other people speak out against it and about it really gives us the courage and strength to feel like we’re not alone in their opinions, or [that we’re] only one who cares.

Would you identify more as a speaker or listener?

I think it’s really important to be balanced in that and be comfortable being both of those roles. I would be willing to classify myself as a speaker because I go out of my way to have those conversations and to speak out against things that I see are wrong or that need to be changed. But like I said, I think it’s really important to be comfortable being both at times, because you don’t know everything, and it’s important to hear from other people’s experiences.

What got you to that place?

At first, I was just interested in issues involving gender-based violence and sexual assault, and then once I became more educated on them, I realized that the only way we’re going to be able to change anything is on an individual level. Yes we can have organizations and marches and rallies but if we’re not talking about this stuff with our friends—with our classmates and roommates and teammates—well, that’s where the change really happens.

What changes have you seen on campus from your time her at SCU?

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older of if maybe it’s a result of the election, but I feel like over this past year I’ve noticed people becoming really passionate and really active about whatever their “thing” is. That’s been seriously one of the coolest things to see, is these people who you met at orientation slowly and surely come into who they are and figuring out what they believe in and what mark they want to leave on this world.

How have you grown as a person here at SCU?

Sexual assault wasn’t anything I was even aware of until I really got here, and then my best friend ended up leaving the school because of an assault. You hear all this stuff about “1 in 5” women, but when it happens to your best friend and she needs to leave school because of it, you start to speak up. I mean, it sounds selfish that it took me that long to realize that it was something that needed changing, but sometimes that’s what it takes to realize that’s what we have to do. I guess that’s better than never taking the step to speak out in the first place.

Oct 27, 2017

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