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Oct. 16, 2019

This week I gained another skill for my resume. While being fitted for contacts for the first time, the eye doctor told me I was “weirdly comfortable” with touching my eyeball. This was after he challenged me to be his fastest lesson ever. It’s no secret that I love a challenge, so I popped those lenses in on the first try. First place winner of contact lens learning and weirdly skilled at touching my eyeball — those are definitely going on my LinkedIn profile.

Beyond all the winning and skills acquisition, the best news is now I can see clearly. I mean, I’ve been wearing glasses for a while, but I was not a fan of them. Now I can work at my computer, text on my phone and read my watch without grabbing for glasses. It’s a whole new world and it’s almost like seeing things for the first time. I just had to be open to it, put in the work and know where to look. 

Honestly, that’s a pretty good metaphor for a lot of things in life. Sometimes, you have to put in the work and be open to seeing things differently. You have to be able to look around, really see something and put forth a little effort.

That’s kind of what “It’s On Us Week of Action” is all about. The national effort, that MSU is a part of this week, is all about raising awareness to change the culture around sexual violence. In order to know more, we need to see more so we can do more. We need to look around and see what’s wrong. We need to see survivors and our own accountability. We need to step in and step up to protect ourselves and others and make a difference. 

Rebecca Campbell has been seeing a lot of things for a long time and is dedicated to putting in the work toward change. She’s a professor of psychology and serves as one of two presidential advisers to support and drive the university’s efforts to address relationship violence and sexual misconduct issues. If that’s not enough work, she is also chair of the RVSM Expert Advisory Workgroup at MSU and was recently honored for her contributions by Crain's Detroit Business as one of the 2019 Notable Women in Education Leadership. She’s pretty much a rock star and we’re lucky to call her a Spartan. She recently sat down for an interview about her work on untested rape kits and investigations. You can read an excerpt from that in the FACULTY VOICE: Defining a problem, and link to the whole interview. 

Nikebia Brown-Joseph is a senior in the School of Social Work, who was part of the It’s On Us Week of Action planning committee. She’s passionate about gender equality and changing the culture of sexual violence. Brown-Joseph thought getting involved with It’s On Us was a perfect opportunity to see more and do more. Read her STUDENT VIEW: When you ‘Know More,” to learn more about her experience and meeting actress Laverne Cox.

Christian Perry is another senior who saw a problem and decided to do something. This English major works as a peer educator with Prevention, Outreach and Education on campus. Read their STUDENT VIEW: Reflections as a peer educator, to learn more about the work peer educators do.

Joshua Sapotichne, the director of MSU’s InnovateGov program, opened his eyes, identified a need and found a solution. His program embeds MSU undergraduate interns alongside key decision-makers in governmental and civic institutions in Detroit. Students get experience working in the government sector and learn skills by working on critical problems like water shut-offs and property tax foreclosures. Watch the video in the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Training Detroit’s future civic leaders, to learn why he says, “The inspiration for my work is my responsibility to my community.”

Every day, all around campus and around the globe, Spartans are opening their eyes to problems and finding ways to work toward solutions. It’s no secret that we, as a university, definitely have some challenges to solve. This is a good week to point out that we are working hard toward a better and safer campus. We’ve aligned MSU’s health colleges, our expert advisory group and others are working hard, we announced a new way to track our progress in complying with the recent federal review, we’re creating programs like Justice Heals to help survivors using shelter dogs, launched a pilot program for sexual assault prevention training for bars and have a new interim provost dedicated to changing the culture.

As you go through your day, take a look around. What problems do you see? What can you do to make the world a better place? What odd skills might you have that could benefit someone else? What else can you learn? Make sure you know more, you see more and absolutely make sure you do more. #SpartansWill

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner