Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
August 28, 1998

Familiar faces help women's center launch new effort

by Anne Dolan

ISU coaches, faculty and staff members are among the gentlemen who will hover over some barbecue grills Monday (Aug. 31) as part of a new initiative at the Margaret Sloss Women's Center.

"Sensitive Men Flippin' Burgers" will help launch a new men's outreach effort at the center. The free picnic begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 1 p.m. on the lawn in front of the Sloss House. Head basketball coaches Bill Fennelly and Larry Eustachy, African American Studies director Herman Blake, minority student affairs director Rafael Rodriguez, associate dean of students Houston Dougharty and assistant athletic director Elve Everage are among those with grill duty.

"Through our men's outreach program, we hope to raise the level of awareness about the importance of involving men in dialogues about women," said Pam Thomas, director of the women's center.

Student David White has been hired to coordinate the men's outreach program. Initially this fall, he will lead workshops for both male and coed groups on topics such as sexual assault and date rape, sexism in language and the media, and dating/family domestic violence. Later this fall, White hopes to start peer educator training sessions for male employees and students.

Thomas said she sought positive role models to help out at the picnic.

"Television shows such as Men Behaving Badly and the recent attention to Frank Sinatra and his 'Brat Pack' tell us that it's OK for men to behave like that," Thomas said. "It's not. That behavior doesn't have to be a definition of masculinity.

"I hope this event and our workshops this fall will garner a group of men who are good role models and can facilitate some of our programs," she added.

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