The Association of Innovative Marketing Consulting, a student organization that provides marketing services, is trying to create a safer environment on campus. AIM was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department to create campaigns centered on three issues on campus: sexual assault, alcohol awareness and bike safety.
AIM has taken on this challenge and begun to raise awareness about these issues by utilizing social media and planning interactive events. This month, AIM is coordinating a “Month of Change” campaign.
“The LAPD did not set particular guidelines, so we had to set goals on what we wanted to achieve through this campaign,” said Eduardo Melchior, the consultant for the sexual assault campaign.
Melchior explained that his team worked to bring awareness to sexual assault on campus by focusing on bystander education. According to USC’s campus climate survey on sexual assault and misconduct, 75.7 percent of students who said they were a bystander to sexual assault or misconduct did not act. The findings from this survey drove the Sexual Assault Awareness team to help educate the student body on how to react to sexual misconduct.
“It is scary to think that so many people are not doing anything when others are being sexually assaulted,” Melchior said. “The ultimatum is to create a safe environment where victims can feel comfortable to come out. We also want people to feel safe from being sexually assaulted.”
The theme of the sexual assault prevention campaign is Helen of Troy. Students interested in participating in this campaign are encouraged to visit the Helen of Troy Facebook page and the website, iamhelen.com.
The likelihood of sexual assault is often increased by alcohol. Given that, AIM has also worked to bring awareness to alcohol safety. The Alcohol Safety campaign targets freshmen.
“We realize that when freshmen come to school, they may have never been exposed to alcohol in this way before. They may not be aware of their own tolerance levels,” said Udai Chopra, a member of the Alcohol Awareness team.
The Alcohol Safety Campaign has already hosted events at Parkside Arts & Humanities and the USC vs. Arizona tailgate. The event at Parkside was the Party Smart Carnival. Students were invited to eat free food and play games that engaged them in alcohol education. One of the games included a mixology booth, designed to teach students how much of a certain drink should be poured to make one cup. Another game was called “take a shot.” Students were challenged to shoot a basketball from different distances. The farther away a student stood, the more difficult it was to make the basket, signifying how alcohol impairs coordination.
“The line for this event was out the door. We had a good turnout. Our priority is to make our events fun and educational,” Chopra said.
The Alcohol Safety campaign also set up a station during the tailgate called “Trojans, Think Before You Drink.” AIM handed out water bottles and KIND bars to students. The goal was to teach students how to drink responsibly.
“It is very strategically planned. We target freshmen and want to create a culture of drinking responsibly,” Chopra said.
The third campaign promoted bike safety on campus and consisted of three parts. The first was the “Awareness Campaign” in which AIM wrote statistics about bike safety in chalk around high-traffic areas. The second was “Operation Firefly” in which the team posted flyers about bike registration, proper methods of parking and effective bike-locking techniques. The third was “DPS Bike Registration.” AIM encouraged students, faculty and staff to register their bikes at a booth set up on Trousdale Parkway. Registering a bike with the Department of Public Safety allows a stolen or lost bike to be returned if found.
“A lot of bikes on campus are not registered. Even if DPS finds a bike that has been stolen, there is no way of getting it back to you because it is not registered,” Chopra said.