7Cs Move Toward Assault Resource Center

In a step toward establishing a shared sexual assault prevention and education center, the 7C Student Deans Committee has taken on two consultants this semester: Dr. Mandy Mount, director of University of California, Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources and Education office; and Tiombe Sewell SC
’95, adviser for the Pomona College Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and a trainer for several groups in Claremont.

Mount and Sewell, each of whom have already been involved with a variety of projects at the consortium, will facilitate gathering input from the students and other
community members about the shared resource center.

“We want to create a center as soon as
possible,” Mount said. “This is an exciting time because the
commitment [from the schools] is there, and it is very significant and
important, and the leadership is committed to forming a center. This
demonstrates that the leadership is taking the topic of sexual violence
seriously, and it demonstrates a willingness to get out ahead of the curve and
commit resources for the issues.”

Sewell agreed that a shared center is an important goal for the consortium.

“A fair, consistent process is a best practice,” Sewell said. 

Before being hired as a consultant to the committee, Mount helped create the Claremont Colleges’ Teal Dot program, gave the Scripps Orientation lecture on sexual assault two years in a row and led trainings for Scripps Peer Advocates on Crisis Intervention. 

Sewell conducted the audit at Pomona on sexual violence in 2012-13 and works for Pomona as a long-term consultant, according to Miriam Feldblum, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Pomona. 

“I think my skills blend nicely with those of
Mandy as we have complementary strengths,” Sewell said. 

As a Scripps alumna, Sewell has a “deep
respect for the students,” she said. “I love working
with leadership on campus that wants the consortium to be ahead of the
curve and a model for other campuses across the nation. When I was at
Scripps and on the student government, I helped to compose a 5C sexual
assault victim bill of rights—so, to come back to this is something that
is important to me personally and professionally.”

The consultants’ previous experience working on
projects in the consortium will be vital in building a shared resource center, said Scripps
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs Charlotte Johnson.

“A shared center also ensures consistent use
of best practices across the consortium and allows us to better
share information, when appropriate,” Johnson said. “The sexual
assault resource center will focus on support of survivors, prevention,
training and educational initiatives, so the center’s focus will include
much more than education regarding issues related to sexual assault. We
want to ensure that survivors receive the best possible support.”

Johnson also commented that a benefit to a shared
resource center would be the ability to share cost among the colleges. Feldblum wrote in an email to TSL that the proposed center
should be a shared resource for not only students but also for any survivor of
sexual assault, including staff and faculty. 

To make this goal a reality, both
Mount and Sewell are speaking with “stakeholders” around the campuses, Mount said. 

“Currently I am helping to guide
conversations with people working with us, and I am leading student
trainings,” Mount said. “I am dedicated to comprehensive campus
response protocols.”  

According to Mount, “Stage One” of the center
development should be complete by the end of the year. Meetings will be
held in the end of December to discuss the development of the center, with
recommendations for the schools from external sources and students. Mount
will also be leading a series of information sessions for students
interested in getting involved in the topic of sexual assault across the
7Cs this fall semester.

Willa Helvy PO ’17, president of Pomona
Advocates, is also invested in the idea of
a shared resource for sexual assault prevention on campus. 

“Pomona Advocates would love to see more 7C sexual assault
prevention education,” Helvy said. “We are currently hosting
Survivor Support workshops, which are open to students across the 7Cs and
deal with handling disclosures and supporting friends, teammates, mentees and
others who experience sexual violence. A combined effort is not
necessarily more important than each school working individually, but the
more folks on campus working on these issues together, the better.”

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