LiveBIG Staff, January 21, 2016

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During football and basketball games, BTN LiveBIG will spotlight notable examples of research, innovation and community service from around the conference. In-Game stories will provide more background on these features, and the opportunity to view the videos again.

Sexual assault and other forms of violence on campus aren?t easy subjects to get into, for obvious reasons. Even though few would say they?re unimportant, their very nature makes people feel ill at ease.

That?s why SCREAM Theater, a troupe of student actors at Rutgers University, is so important. Through its realistic portrayals of various scenarios of sexual harassment and sexual assault, the group educates every single incoming RU freshman on the specifics of these issues, preventing them from being swept under the rug or avoided entirely.

?We show every first-year student these skits,? said Keith DuPree, a student majoring in environmental and business economics at Rutgers and a member of SCREAM Theater. ?We do anywhere from 80 to 90 performances a year.?

[btn-post-package]SCREAM is operated by the Office of Violence Prevention and Victims Assistance at Rutgers, DuPree said. The idea is that new students will be more receptive to messages on these subjects when delivered by people their own age, and in an up-close-and-personal setting. And if those messages are absorbed, these terrible incidents will happen less and less.

?This happens across all campuses,? DuPree said. ?We really want everyone to stand up for what they believe in and [against] what they know is wrong. It?s our responsibility to create a community that does not tolerate this type of behavior.

?It starts with each and every one of us.?

Watch the one-minute video above to learn more about how SCREAM Theater is tackling this difficult yet critical topic.

By Brian Summerfield