Every Tuesday night, seven AU men talk about issues relating to masculinity as part of a joint effort between the Student Government and Women’s Initiative.
The group, Men Creating Change, began meeting last semester as a discussion group in coordination with Men Can Stop Rape, a national organization that seeks to mobilize male youth in order to prevent violence against women.
The goal of the group is “to help students examine and challenge masculinity as it relates to themselves and society,” said Daniel Rappaport, AU’s sexual assault health educator, who co-facilitates the discussions using programming provided by Men Can Stop Rape.
Members of the group seek to “come to an idea of masculinity that works for them, not one that’s constructed by society,” Rappaport said.
Ultimately this reevaluation should “help them create healthier, safer and ultimately happier lives for them and the men and women they care about,” he said.
Although women are not barred from meetings, the discussions are primarily oriented toward men, according to SG President Nate Bronstein.
A group like this is important to have on campus because many women feel threatened on a daily basis, Bronstein said.
“That’s inexcusable,” he said.
Bronstein said most programming designed to educate about and prevent violence against women is directed primarily toward females, but it is important to “hit both sides of the issue,” and provide programming specifically aimed at men as well.
“Either our culture is moving forward together or not forward at all,” Bronstein said.
The group currently has about seven members and is looking to expand its membership and programming.