Award-nominated speaker Bob Hall come to Murray State to present his Nonviolent Sexuality Series to students and faculty Sept. 17.
Hall will present four workshops, each geared towards a different group.
One lecture will be specifically for faculty, housing, Public Safety and Emergancy Management and professional staff. The other sessions will be for Greek Life, Murray State athletes and Murray State administrators.
The workshops will entail a discussion with the speaker, instead of a lecture. Abigail French, director of the Murray State Women’s Center, said she believes this series will give students and staff a chance to be more involved with the learning process and allow individuals to ask Hall questions they normally would not get to ask in a formal lecture setting.
Hall is the founder of Learning to Live With Conflict Inc. Since 1981, he has been using knowledge from his research on violence and human sexuality alongside a black belt in judo to teach others ways to handle conflict. He has spoken at more than 900 college campuses, and is a three-time nominee for the National Association for Campus Activities Lecture of the Year. Hall brings a different take on how to handle sexual violence, French said.
“He has a very interesting perspective on how to address sexual violence on campus,” she said. “A lot of times programs and speakers will focus on what not to do. And while that’s good, a lot of students leave feeling that they know what they’re supposed to not do, but not what they’re supposed to do.”
Hall’s lecture series will focus on understanding how and why people can be emotionally and physically abusive.
“He really gives both sides of the coin, and that’s what we were looking for in a speaker,” French said. “He’s someone who can talk about all the bad things we’re not supposed to do and also show students what a healthy relationship looks like.”
French said she has recognized a need for student, faculty, and staff education on the topics Hall speaks about at Murray State,
“Students really don’t know what (healthy sexuality) looks like; they don’t know how to talk about sex,” French said. “They don’t know how to talk about boundaries. Because of that they are often times dissatisfied with how those relationships go, but they don’t necessarily know why.”
These problems can often turn into situations like rape and sexual assault, which are problems on college campuses.
“When students are educated about these issues they can go on to have healthy relationships with people and I think that changes the culture,” French said. “So I think we begin to change the culture by setting the standards higher, and you can’t do that if you don’t know what you’re shooting for.”
Story by Taylor Inman, Contributing writer