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BC Men Invited To Become Martians

Soon, Berea College students, particularly males, will be targeted to join a new group on campus. MARS (Men Advocating awareness of Rape and Sexual assault) is aiming to be fully operational by the spring semester.

The group will be a small one, consisting of only six or seven male students. Though Eastern Kentucky University already has a MARS program, the two groups will be separate, though their goals are inherently the same. Student Taylor Ballinger, as well as and Dr. Billy Wooten, are putting together the program. "We want dedicated men, men who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in," said Ballinger. "We also want men who do not have too many other groups with which they are involved, so that MARS can be a priority for them. Especially, we are looking for a young and diverse group of students who want to see this group grow over the next few years."

After the application process, which is currently in its final stages, there will be a round of interviews to determine who will be accepted. Though the group will be comprised of only men, the female groups on campus will serve as a resource for MARS, helping them to reach the largest number of people possible. Next semester, they plan on working with Berea's Take Back The Night rally.

"We want to develop a community on this campus that is willing to address the issue of sexual violence and stand up against it." Ballinger goes on to say, "The best way, we believe, to do that is to do as many educational programs on campus as we can, and reach as many students and young men as possible." Their The groupís aim is to spark dialogue, and in turn address issues that may have reachable solutions. They are also pursuing other ideas, such as a "Night Walk" around campus to gain insight into which areas appear to be more unsafe than others. "Of course," Ballinger adds, "that canít be the only solution, but as the group develops and more people get involved in promoting the cause, Iím sure that other solutions will come about."

For more information on BC's MARS program, you may contact Taylor Ballinger at ballingert@berea.edu or Dr. Billy Wooten at wootenb@berea.edu.

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