By Margaret Hasken


UPDATED: Feb. 3, 2015 2:21 p.m.

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — After being thrown into the national spotlight on sexual assault issues, a University of Virginia graduate is driving home her organization’s campaign promoting “better conduct among college men.”

The organization, called the “Network of enlightened Women (New),” was started 10 years ago by Karin Agness, a lawyer and graduate of U.Va.

For Valentine’s Day, and throughout the month of February, NeW is hosting The Gentlemen Showcase — its sixth annual national contest to recognize, honor and encourage gentlemen on campuses across the country. This year, the organization is expanding the contest with a category for gentlemen under the age of 30.

She says it was started to “confront and reverse negative behavior on campus by identifying and honoring gentlemen on college campuses across the nation.”

“We want to shine a light on gentlemanly behavior, so that young men have better examples to follow,” Agness said. “We want to promote better relations between young men and women.”

To nominate someone, participants need to post a photo or video with a short note explaining why their nominees deserves the title “NeW Gentleman of the Year.” Then, it’s up to America to vote.

The winning gentleman receives additional prizes and the woman who nominates the winning gentleman also receives a prize. Winners will be announced on March 7.

NeW started as a book club at U.Va. in 2004, and has since expanded to 25 college campuses nationwide.

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