Turning Points

MeyerSophia_IntheMoment

Charlie Landeros greets freshman as they enter the Get Explicit program

By: Sophia Meyer

 

“Hello, my name is Charlie. I am going to save the world.” Charlie Landeros’ bold statement on his Facebook bio is one small illustration of his tenacious personality. Charlie is without doubt changing the world through his involvement in sexual assault prevention efforts. As a member of the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team, he takes part in workshops and classes to educate his peers about healthy sexual practices. Charlie also spends his time leading classes for freshman students entitled “Get Explicit.” It is the first year this program has been implemented, and the first time the University of Oregon has taught sexual assault education on such a large scale. Leading this class, Charlie is making headway in the methods of approach and extent to which sexual assault is discussed.

 

After six years of service in the US Army, Charlie decided to attend the University of Oregon. He knew he wanted to make a difference while at school, but was still unsure of what that entailed. As a result of friendships with many individuals who experienced sexual assault, Charlie was well aware of the issue. Come Charlie’s second week of school as a freshman, interim president Scott Coltrane held a hearing regarding a civil lawsuit filed against the university due to a sexual assault case. It was there that he met Sofia Mackey, logistics coordinator and director for the Organization Against Sexual Assault. She convinced him to join SWAT. Charlie realized it is too big of an issue to walk away from, and it’s not something that’s going to get fixed “unless enough people care and care enough to stand up and say ‘this isn’t right’”

 

Charlie decided to major in psychology, with the hope that he will be able to help individuals suffering mental trauma, including sexual assault survivors. Charlie was recently referred to Tasha Hueffner, Air Force psychologist, through his former psychology teacher. Along with Tasha, Charlie is working on formulating a new sexual assault prevention program for the military. While he says it is highly optimistic, he hopes that the program they develop might eventually be implemented.