Art exhibit aims to raise awareness for assaults at UNM

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – Former University of New Mexico student Charis Lillene Fleshner wants to make the incidents of sexual assault and campus violence, more than just a tweet.

Charis Lillene Fleshner at her completed exhibit.

“It was shocking to me how many incidents there are where a student is just walking to class and they have their butt grabbed or their breast grabbed.”

Charis Lillene Fleshner

Her exhibit, Lobo Alert, is based on the University’s emergency text messaging system which sends out alerts to students, staff, and faculty about crimes on campus.

The exhibit at the Downtown Art Studio off Copper and Fourth Street features rows of hanging, hand-stitched banners embroidered with words from real Lobo Alerts, and the stories of students who were assaulted or fondled on campus.

This fall, the university released it’s Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. Which showed that “aggravated assaults on campus were up by two (19) from 17, reported rape incidents were up by five (24) compared to 19 and fondling cases up by one (13).”

Other crimes, however, did see a slight decrease.

At the Lobo Alert exhibit, visitors must walk in and around the banners to read them, creating a new way to interface with the alerts, instead of just through a text message or tweet.

“I felt like the Lobo Alerts, the electronic nature of it, seemed not enough for the fact that someone was traumatized.”

Charis Lillene Fleshner

Charis wants the Albuquerque community to take more notice of the things happening around them, whether they see it in a tweet or in real life. Her exhibit at the downtown art studio stems from her own experience as a student.

“When I was a student there, something that I experienced was a lot of cat calling.”

Charis Lillene Fleshner

Charis hopes her exhibition will raise awareness for the harassment women sometimes face on college campuses and show women they’re not alone in their experiences. You can check out the exhibition for yourself, free of charge until Saturday, November 9 by reaching out to Cat Hulshoff via email at cfads@unm.edu, or by phone at (505) 277-2112.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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