ASCMC votes to guarantee annual funding for CMC Advocates training

A female college student holds her phone. On the screen is the CMC advocates website and hotline number.
ASCMC voted to fund annual training for its school’s Advocates. (Talia Bernstein • The Student Life)

ASCMC agreed Sunday to guarantee annual funding for CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence’s professional training at the start of each academic year.

The ASCMC executive board voted unanimously to provide the Advocates with $5,000 each year, which Advocates leadership told ASCMC at its Sunday executive board meeting was the cost of their professional training. 

“Whether it be through the emergency hotline and confidential resource, patrolling events or through proactive, sex-positive education, the work that Advocates does is so incredibly important,” ASCMC president Dina Rosin CM ’20 said via email. “I am proud that ASCMC is working with Advocates to best support them and make our CMC community safer.”

Leadership for CMC Advocates, which launched in 2014, declined to comment.

The memorandum stipulated closer collaboration between ASCMC and Advocates, including providing sober Advocates and ASCMC members as monitor staff for major ASCMC parties and events. ASCMC committed to informing the Advocates about the dates and plans for such functions.

The Advocates support Claremont McKenna College students by “acting as confidants who are non-mandatory reporters, assisting in the navigation of Title IX cases or legal documentation should a survivor wish to report, and serving to help survivors in the process,” according to their page on the ASCMC website.

The CMC Advocates operate a 24/7 hotline to provide these supports. 

Pomona College’s Campus Advocates also run a hotline and similarly receive in-depth professional training, which helps prepare Advocates to respond to student calls, according to Pomona advocate Sophie Bax PO ’20.

“We do a bunch of scenarios, lots of practice for how to handle different situations on the hotline, how to talk someone down from crisis,” Bax said.

About a third of the Pomona Advocates’ 40-hour training, which was facilitated for the first time this year by family services organization Project Sister, covered hotline responses, they said.

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The Pitzer College Advocates and Harvey Mudd College Advocates are funded by the Pitzer Student Senate and ASHMC respectively, according to members of those groups. 

The Pomona Advocates are funded by the Dean of Students Office, Bax said. A spokesperson for Scripps College Advocates did not provide a comment by press time.

The Scripps Advocates operate a “warm line” from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., according to the EmPOWER Center. The Harvey Mudd Advocates don’t run a hotline, according to head advocate Cassie Rossi HM ’20. No hotline for the Pitzer advocates is listed on the EmPOWER Center site.

Although the ASCMC agreement locks in funding, the ASCMC executive board and CMC Advocates must reaffirm the agreement each year.

Bax emphasized that student advocate groups play an important role in supporting survivors of sexual violence.

“Not every survivor needs the same thing at the same time, not every survivor is going to want to talk to a therapist, not every survivor is going to want to report. And it’s just really important to have a wide variety of resources for survivors,” Bax said. “Peer-to-peer support is a really unique thing.”

Students can reach the CMC Advocates’ 24/7 hotline at 909-377-2400; the Pomona Advocates’ 24/7 hotline through Project Sister at 909-626-4357 and the Scripps Advocates’ “warm line” from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at 909-214-2138. The EmPOWER Center provides resources for survivors of sexual assault at 7csupportandprevention.com.

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