Hello everyone! My name is Mallory and I’m a senior Radio/TV/Film major here at UWO and I’m also the Social Media Coordinator for UMatter. If you start to read our blog regularly, you’ll probably catch a blog or two by me, so its nice to meet you! To meet the other UMatter bloggers, check out the student bloggers page.
First off, thanks so much for visiting our blog! Its brand new and we here at the UMatter Team have a lot of awesome goals and we hope that you will be a part of it.
Before I get into what you can expect from the UMatter blog, I thought I’d quickly explain to you what UMatter is, in case you’re not familiar with it. Then I’ll let you know what we’ll be blogging about and how you can get involved!
To be brief, UMatter is a campaign here on campus that teaches us that we have a responsibility to take action in our everyday lives to keep ourselves and each other safe. You’ve probably heard the term “campus community” before and UMatter strives to keep it a safe place. One of the big concepts UMatter is all about is preventing the bystander effect. The bystander effect is when someone sees something bad going down and they don’t do anything about it; UMatter works to fight that and to give students the tools to take action in any situation.
Sounds kind of broad right? It is. But thats why UMatter is divided into 6 facets that touch on topics we experience all that time as students, or even just as people. They are as follows:
Simply put, Action Matters empowers us to take action in any situation and stop something bad from happening. Like if you see an argument developing between some people–take action and verbally try to stop them or get someone who can stop them.
Safety Matters reminds us to be safe and keep others safe by using things like the Safe Walk here on campus or just using common sense to be safe in everyday life.
BAC Matters is about understanding blood alcohol content, and actually its really cool because it acknowledges that people our age drink and it offers tools to be safe when you do decide to drink or be around others who are.
Consent Matters is a really important one that just stresses that you need to get a verbal agreement to do anything intimate–and that it doesn’t need to kill the mood–getting consent can still be sexy.
Listening Matters reminds us to look out for those around us and listen to someone if they’re having a tough time. This facet has a lot to do with listening to others to prevent suicide.
And last there’s Language Matters which challenges us to take action when we hear someone using homophobic or racial slurs. So for example, if you hear someone say “don’t be a fag,” let them know that language like that can be offensive and that they shouldn’t say it.
If you want to learn more in depth about these facets, you can click any of the bubbles above and it’ll bring you to the UMatter website to read more.
Now that I’ve explained to you what UMatter and its facets mean, lets get down to business. As it says here on our blog, this is where your voice matters. We here at UMatter want this blog to be a place where UW-Oshkosh students can tell their stories.
The first time I had UMatter explained to me, I immediately thought of like 10 stories that happened to me or someone I knew related to these topics. Like an incident I had in high school for saying “thats so gay” in a class that was taught by someone who was gay. Or this one time when a friend had an alcohol poisoning scare from drinking way too much way too fast. We experience these topics everyday, and not just in the negative ways I just mentioned–theres positive stories to be told too. Like, was there a time in your life when something bad was going on, and someone made a difference by listening to you?
These topics are conversations starters no matter what way you spin it, and we want to have these conversations through your stories! If you share your stories, someone else might learn something that they never knew. Or they might learn how to react in a situation that they didn’t know how to before. Your stories can make a difference to someone, but thats only if they’re heard.
If you want to get involved as either a regular or guest blogger, you can contact us either on Facebook by sending us a private message or by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to tell your story but its kind of personal and you dont feel comfortable revealing your identity, we can keep your blog anonymous too, so thats always an option. In your email or message just let us know your name, year in school, and a brief summary of what you’d like to write about. This will all be confidential until its posted so don’t be shy!
In a nutshell, if you have a story to tell related to UMatter, just contact us and we’ll help it be heard. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for updates on blog postings on our Facebook page or on Twitter. We’ll also be posting about events we’re involved in on campus as well as informing you about what UMatter and its facets are all about.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you back soon!