Planning for the 7C Sexual Assault Resource Center is underway, following a survey sent out to students Feb 1. to gather more input.
Last fall, the 7C Student Deans Committee submitted a proposal to the Presidents’ Council —comprised of the presidents of all seven colleges—requesting a sexual assault resource center.
According to the survey, “The Claremont Colleges are proposing the creation of a resource and education center to support students who have experienced sexual violence and to enhance our collective education and prevention efforts.”
The Student Deans Committee has been working since last semester with Dr. Mandy Mount, director of University of California, Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources and Education office and Tiombe Sewell SC ’95, advisor for the Pomona College Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and a trainer for several groups in Claremont.
The two consultants invited faculty, staff and students to host focus group meetings across all seven colleges last October to gather feedback and discuss about the new center. The Presidents’ Council, however, has asked the dean of students to gather more student feedback.
“You get seven administrators in a room by ourselves and we can create whatever we want to create. But if it’s not really what students are looking for, it’s a waste of effort and a waste of resources,” Mooko said.
The new, anonymous survey for students aims to collect further feedback from students across the Claremont Colleges. The first page of the survey states, “We would like to get additional input from students regarding the perceived need for such a center, the kinds of services it might provide, possible barriers to usage, as well as potential locations.”
ASPC Commissioner of Communications Peter Hao Chen PO ’16 wrote in an email to TSL that close to 300 students across the 5Cs have submitted survey responses so far. But, according to Mooko, administrators are still looking for more input.
“I think it can be difficult to get students excited about such a difficult topic,” Alexi Wattis SC ’17, Co-Programming Team Lead for Scripps College Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault, wrote in an email to TSL. “[Furthermore], sexual assault can seem like a very scary and dark issue and if it is not directly affecting a student, it might be harder to get them really motivated to fight it.”
Chen pointed out that there could have been confusion for students since another survey, the sexual assault climate survey, was recently sent out to students as well.
“[When] we try to promote the survey, we make an effort to clarify that,” Chen wrote.
The resource center will be considered a shared resource, meaning that each 7C college will contribute funding. It will also adopt the lead-college model where one college—in this case, Scripps—will physically house and oversee the center directly.
“Having a united, supportive place where people can go will really create a safe, proactive, and upright community,” Wattis wrote.
If plans are approved early, Mooko said, the center may be in place this fall.
“I think everyone wants to make sure that whatever it is we create, students will use,” Mooko said. “The more students you get to be in that process, the more confident you’ll be that students will use it.”