Name: Nicole Houck
Major(s)/minor(s): Psychology and Criminology double major
Tell us about a club, business, or nonprofit that you have started?
My friends and I restarted the Butler Chapter of PA|VE which stands for Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment. PA|VE is a national nonprofit founded by sexual assault victim Angela Rose as a way to create education and action surrounding issues of sexual violence. The Butler chapter of PA|VE strives to promote consent culture at Butler and empower all survivors on our campus through educational presentations and events that bring people together, such as our popular “Letter to Survivors Wall” event.
What inspired you to create this club?
Many of us on the Executive Team either had direct experience with sexual harassment or knew someone who did. We wanted to show all survivors on campus that this is a safe and accepting place for them, while also educating campus about the issues interrelated with sexual assault to create a safer, better educated campus.
How did Butler help you with starting this club?
Butler offers many resources for students to be creative and pursue their own ideas. Specifically, they provided me with tips for running a club and have been very helpful in guiding our executive members, all of whom were in their first year and didn’t have experience running a college club before.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting this club?
The most rewarding thing about working with BU PA|VE is helping people. Even if only a few people show up to an educational presentation, I know that I have helped at least one person, and I leave that presentation feeling energized to help even more. I keep up this work for the survivors on campus, even the ones that do not engage with us. Knowing we have provided access to helpful information and resources for them is enough to keep me going.
What is your long-term goal for this club?
The long-term goal for our club is to keep improving the culture here at Butler. College culture and consent culture often are opposites, so it is a long process to change the culture towards one of consent. I hope that new executive members will continue this effort after I graduate to continue to improve the Butler community as much as possible.
What advice would you give another student who may be considering starting their own club at Butler?
I would tell them to go for it and not to worry about all the things they don’t know yet. It will be hard, and it is definitely a learning process, but lean on your advisor and the resources provided to you by the University. Don’t give up! If you have an idea, pursue it, because chances are people will want what you have to offer.