By Abigail Megginson
The students in the Fall 2014 Public Speaking class completed unique group projects, or “Mini Media” campaigns, that bring awareness to campus sexual violence, anxiety, depression and suicide.
Professor Narla Zinermon asked her public speaking students to complete this assignment in lieu of the usual end-of-semester speech.
Zinermon, who also goes by Mrs. “Zee,” said she had a plan for her class’s project from the beginning.
“The idea was to create a ‘for students-by students’ series of messages that would appeal–and get through–to those who would see the information on a college campus,” she said. “The campaigns feature, in addition to brief speeches, flyers on each issue and a 30-second public-service announcement, completely prepared by the students themselves.
Each of the six groups had a subject to promote. One group titled their presentation, “The Guardians of All Life” and spoke about how mental health disorders affect veterans. Some of their main points included the effects of anxiety, depression, suicide, and PTSD on the Veterans of the community.
“Twenty-five percent of the college students at PSC are veterans that suffer from some form of PTSD,” said Nuvea Hannah, a student in Zinermon’s public speaking class, during her portion of the presentation.
The group went on to explain that the cause of depression is often the lifestyle change that occurs while transitioning from combat to civilian life.
Discussions after the presentations were encouraged and students responded passionately about their own experiences and beliefs. After the presentation on sexual violence on campus, some students discussed how college parties can be an unintentional pathway to sexual violence. One student told how some men attending a college party set a woman up for some after-party “fun”. Another student spoke of how male students, particularly athletes, “attacked” a woman at a party.
Pensacola Pirates basketball player Justin Johnson’s message for other men is, “no means no.” When asked about prevention, he called for individuals to speak up when something is going on and tell people about it. Women should also “just say no to men who are looking for ‘some’” instead of leading them on.
Mrs. “Zee” added, “No until yes” and “yes until no.”
Austin McCall, another student, proposed some preventative measures to combat campus sexual violence before it happens. He thinks campus law enforcement should look at previous perpetrators’ patterns and pay close attention to problem areas as well as take note of unusual patterns to prevent rapes. Awareness is another concern of his in which he proposed there be seminars to teach bystanders what to do in a situation.
Student Leo Witherspoon summed up the goal of all the mini media campaigns when he said, “If no one is going to talk about it, it’s probably going to go unnoticed.”
A few of the flyers and PSAs created by the students can be seen below
Group members (in order of appearance): Patrick Cadoret, Matt Chamberlain, Lauren Crismon, Dusty Marlowe, Matthew Daniels
Group members (in order of appearance): Madeline McCammon, Cortney Stotts, Shawnacy Andrews, Joshua Bott