BY JONAS BLANK
Few of this year’s 1Ls may know HL Central founder T.J. Duane ’02 personally, but his memory will forever live in the form of the T.J. Duane Community Building Scholarship, a $1,000 award to a 1L who “has an outstanding record of community service and shows promise to continue strengthening the community at Harvard Law School,” according to HL Central representatives.
This year’s winner, Andy Oldham, founded One in Four, an organization dedicated to sexual assault prevention and awareness. Since its founding in 1999, Oldham’s organization has presented programs to over 5,000 university men across the country, and continues to do so today.
“I first became impassioned about this issue during my second year of college,” Oldham said. “My best friend was raped, and two of my close male friends told her she was ‘asking for it.’ I was irate….”
From there, Oldham designed a program to systematically attack the problem by educating men about their attitudes. “I concluded that a large part of the sexual assault problem inheres in the widely-held beliefs that, one, it’s a ‘women’s issue’ and two, that survivors are at least partly responsible for their attackers’ violent behavior. Much, if not all, of my work has been directed at destroying both of these misconceptions.” By helping sexual assault survivors share their experiences with mostly-male audiences, One in Four helps to not only bridge some of the gender divide over the issue, but to address the problem of sexual assault at its source.
Oldham, who is currently working with the Coalition Against Sexual Violence to implement a new sexual assault policy at Harvard, will donate the entire scholarship sum to further sexual assault education programs.
“It is really not the T.J. scholarship, in the sense that I didn’t set it up as a memoriam to myself,” Duane said. In fact, the scholarship program began last year as part of HL Central’s expanded community service efforts, and its winners are selected through a blind selection process. The scholarship was renamed for Duane to thank him for his contributions to HL Central, and continues to be funded by the organization itself.