UW Student-Athletes Take Part in Violence Prevention Program

Sept. 29, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

152 University of Wyoming student-athletes participated in a gender violence prevention workshop presented by The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP). UW was one of six programs nationally selected to receive MVP training this year.

The MVP program was brought to the University of Wyoming through a grant submitted by Jody Mayer, Assistant Project Coordinator of the STOP Violence Project. MVP is a gender violence prevention and education program developed by Northeastern University's Center for Sport in Society. By acknowledging that student-athletes are leaders on campus, MVP believes that athletes as a part of the program can help solve problems such as rape, sexual harassment, and other forms of abuse that occur on college campuses.

Many teams requested that their entire team attend the workshop, including football, wrestling, men's track, women's soccer, women's golf, and women's tennis. Student athletes from other sports, as well as some coaching staffs, were also in attendance.

The success of this program is due to its philosophy that student-athletes, as leaders, can make positive decisions when they come upon potentially harmful things happening to fellow students. This approach does not blame or tell students what they must do or not do; instead, it encourages them to think about how they can help others to make healthy choices.

As part of the grant, the University of Wyoming will be participating in an Adult Coalition Training in the spring or summer of 2007. This coalition training of coaches, administrators, faculty and staff, and community members will create a strategic plan to continue gender violence prevention training of the same quality as the MVP program. For more information on this project, please contact Jody Mayer at 766-6797 or Sarah McCullough at 766-4037.