Group Spotlight: Pacers Against Sexual Assualt


Photo credit/ Sabrina Resuta

When M.J. Haynes was navigating their own healing journey from sexual assault, they wanted to create a space on Marywood’s campus where other students could heal as well. From this journey came Pacers Against Sexual Assualt (PASA), an activism and awareness club.

“I wanted to create an activism group in order to help other people who went through the same thing I did,” said Haynes.

PASA is determined to educate students on the broad topic of sexual assault and what acts fall under that category.

“Our goal is to break the stigma and to raise awareness to sexual assault and how to prevent it, how to go about getting help if the sexual assault were to occur or sexual misconduct,” Haynes explained.

On Oct. 19, PASA hosted its first campus-wide event called Stop the Scare. Students were able to ask questions either anonymously or in-person to a panel organized by the group. Panel members included Marywood President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D, representatives from Campus Safety and the Office of Disability Services, Dean of Students Ross Novak and Marywood’s Title IX Coordinator Dr. Yerdin Lucas.

“The work that they’re doing speaks volumes because it clearly shows that they’re paying attention to policies and things that are important for students so that they can also be resources,” said Lucas.

PASA is organizing an art installation called “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes” in late November where students can anonymously give brief inspirational messages and courage to those who have experienced sexual assault.

Students can join or learn more about PASA’s events by emailing [email protected].The club is also open to ideas for future projects from students. PASA meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Upper Main of Nazareth Hall.

Individuals who need help with a sexual assault incident can contact the following organizations:
Marywood’s Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC)M-F 8:30-4:30 at (570) 348-6245
Women’s Resource Center, Scranton: 24hrs. (570) 346-4671
Victims Resource Center. Luzerne County: 24hrs (570) 823-0765
National Institute of Mental Health Suicide & Crisis Helpline: 24hrs Call or text 988

Contact the writer: [email protected]