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Former Kansas City Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery tells ASU students to change sexual violence culture

Kansas City Chief Hall of Fame football player Nick Lowery talks about about his foundation, Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, at a talk during the sexual awareness week on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Since retiring from the NFL, Nick speaks at schools across the country and will be joining us to tackle the topic of sexual violence prevention and more specifically, bystander intervention, social dynamics, and how to create a positive impact on ASU’s campus. (Photo by Ryan Liu)
Kansas City Chief Hall of Fame football player Nick Lowery talks about about his foundation, Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, at a talk during the sexual awareness week on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Since retiring from the NFL, Nick speaks at schools across the country and will be joining us to tackle the topic of sexual violence prevention and more specifically, bystander intervention, social dynamics, and how to create a positive impact on ASU’s campus. (Photo by Ryan Liu)

Kansas City Chief Hall of Fame football player Nick Lowery talks about about his foundation, Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, at a talk during the sexual awareness week on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Since retiring from the NFL, Nick speaks at schools across the country and will be joining us to tackle the topic of sexual violence prevention and more specifically, bystander intervention, social dynamics, and how to create a positive impact on ASU’s campus. (Photo by Ryan Liu) Kansas City Chief Hall of Fame football player Nick Lowery talks about about his foundation, Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, at a talk during the sexual awareness week on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Since retiring from the NFL, Nick speaks at schools across the country and will be joining us to tackle the topic of sexual violence prevention and more specifically, bystander intervention, social dynamics, and how to create a positive impact on ASU’s campus. (Photo by Ryan Liu)

The Devils Fight Back sexual safety awareness campaign held by Tempe Undergraduate Student Government finished Thursday with former NFL kicker and Kansas City Chiefs hall of fame member Nick Lowery speaking to students on the importance of changing the culture of sexual violence.

Lowery opened his discussion by saying he isn’t the leading expert on sexual assault and never claimed to be but his experiences from the past 30 years make him a person who can speak on the topic as well as how to learn from past mistakes and become leaders for tomorrow.

“The biggest discussion we will have is about mistakes,” he said. “We can learn from the traumas and the scars that affect us, and no matter how good you are in life you will make mistakes.”

Lowery challenged everyone in the audience to find their purpose and to pursue it no matter what outside forces may sway them from their path.

“Our purpose isn’t just an intellectual one, but it is also bringing out heart into this,” he said. “There will not be a change unless we put ourselves into the purpose and make it happen.”

When a person is doing things for the right reasons, he or she will be led to great things, Lowery said.

Lowery called up a few students to the front of the auditorium to participate in a role playing game involving a bartender, a female student and two male students. One male was to begin a conversation with the female, while the other male looked on throughout the night.

The situation was used to represent how situations can quickly escalate from friendly and flirtatious to possibly being a harmful situation and how anyone, witnesses rather than bystanders, can intervene to help their friends.

Lowery reiterated how it takes individuals to make a change happen and it begins with the generation in college now.

“The only way it’ll change is if more and more people will step up and change the situation,” he said. “We think change is impossible but it isn’t. We can make that change possible.”

The forum came after a week of events, hosted by the Tempe USG, in conjunction with the “It’s On Us” campaign to help change the culture of sexual violence and to promote awareness and sexual safety across the University.

Cassidy Possehl, Tempe USG president, said it is up to the students to talk about the issues of sexual violence, assault and rape.

“This week has been the culmination of months of work to connect students and get the message of the “It’s On Us” campaign out into the student community,” she said.

Michael Thompson, ASU chief of police, spoke candidly to students about what needs to change and spoke of personal issues of sexual violence in his own family.

Thompson said that change is not going to be easy, but it begins with the students.

“It’s not going to be me speaking to a group of people, but you (students), the younger generation who will make the change,” he said.

The Hollywood image of what a sexual predator looks like is a big issue, Thompson said. He said it isn’t the gnarly-toothed man who hides in the dark but the average-looking guy on the street.

“People that commit sexual assaults look just like you and me,” Thompson said. “They think they are part of the mainstream just like you and me.”

Reach the reporter at jshanco2@su.edu or follow on Twitter @joey_hancock


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