Brookfield Central Class of 2012
2012 Brookfield Central grad, Hasan Nadeem is a leader on the University of Wisconsin campus, serving as president of ‘We’re Better Than That’, an organization dedicated to encouraging men to take part in speaking against gender-based violence and sexual assault.
Hasan’s Elmbrook career traveled from Hillside Elementary and Wisconsin Hills to Brookfield Central, where he became very involved in school events that influenced his college experience. Taking part in Varsity Tennis, NHS, Key Club, Jazz Band, Tyro, and Science Olympiad, Nadeem was constantly pushing for excellence in academia and his co-curricular activities. “I really appreciate the opportunities that Elmbrook gave me to take challenging classes in various subject areas,” said Nadeem. “It was certainly a challenging experience, but nonetheless, the rewards validated the work and effort.”
Nadeem continued on to the University of Wisconsin, where he graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in Biology and Economics. During his junior year at UW, Nadeem and his roommates formed the organization ‘We’re Better Than That- Men Against Sexual Assault’ after struggling with seeing how some of the women in their community were being treated. The group originated with fraternity members and athletes coming together in the cause and later grew to include female members and other peers around campus. Today the organization consists of over 100 members and has gained the attention of the greater Madison and Milwaukee communities.
Since its formation, ‘We’re Better Than That’ has benefitted from a number of community donations, scholarships, and grants from UW. The group spends a great deal of time putting together content to spread awareness and educate the public. A few valuable techniques the organization utilizes are peer-to-peer discussions and bystander intervention trainings with fellow organizations and the general campus community, as well as heavily-educating incoming students in order to increase future awareness and subsequently decrease future assaults. “Now, given our strong base,” says Hasan, “our goal is to expand the reach of our organization to other institutions while simultaneously increasing our exposure and involvement at UW.”
Nadeem illustrates that bystander intervention is an important tool, but at the end of the day, the change has to come from the culture and institutions that reinforce unacceptable behaviors. He hopes that more people will realize that the issue pertains to everyone and that more individuals will be willing to have conversations about the issue of sexual assault, how to prevent it, and its foundation in gender inequality.
While Hasan is currently taking classes in preparation for applying to MD-PhD programs this coming summer, he will never forget those that helped set him on course in his academic career. “At Elmbrook, I learned the most content from passionate teachers,” he stated. “I’d especially like to recognize Senora Aslakson (Spanish), Mrs. Jakubowski (Hillside Elementary), and Mr. Perez (AP Literature) for their knowledge and guidance. Every teacher I had left a lasting impression on me, and I’ve carried those lessons and experiences with me in ever facet of life beyond Elmbrook.”
Learn more about ‘We’re Better Than That- Men Against Sexual Assault’, its efforts in UW and the Greater Madison Communities, and see how you can get involved at https://win.wisc.edu/organization/wbttmasa.
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