The proposal for a 7C Sexual Assault Resource Center was officially approved by the President’s Council March 3, catapulting the center from its planning stages to implementation. Originally proposed by the 7C Student Deans Committee in October, the Sexual Assault Resource Center has established a location and is looking to hire a director.
The center plans to share the house currently used by Project Sister, a support service for survivors of sexual assault. The cottage is located at 1030 Dartmouth Avenue, on the northwest corner of Garrison Theater on Scripps College’s campus.
Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students Mary Spellman and Scripps Dean of Students Charlotte Johnson are overseeing the creation of the new center, according to Pitzer College Dean of Students Brian Carlisle. He confirmed in an email to TSL that the Council of Presidents has approved a budget to start developing the new resource center.
Pomona College Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum explained that the presidents are planning to start small with services provided by the center, and will later gauge how students are using the resources and reassess the funding accordingly. In the short run, the presidents are aiming for direct counseling and education, especially focusing on “education, prevention and intervention response.”
“Students will be involved from the very beginning, contributing to every task ranging from what the official name should be to the hiring of staff and the director,” Feldblum said.
Carlisle wrote that each college was asked to nominate up to four students to serve on a new advisory board for the center.
A search is also underway for a director of the center. Mandy Mount, the director of University of California, Irvine’s Campus Assault Resources and Education Office, is serving as a consultant for the center’s development phase. Mount provided a strategic framework to follow as the resource center moves forward in its formation.
The Center is planning to hire a Director by this fall. After coming into the position, the director will work with the students on the advisory board, as well as each of the campuses individually, to gain a clear understanding of the range of needs across the 5Cs.
“I hope the center’s new director will assist us in developing a comprehensive campaign to reach out to the Claremont Colleges community, letting students know about this invaluable resource,” Carlisle wrote.
Feldblum said that she is looking forward to seeing the impact this initiative will have on students, especially by teaching them to “be mindful of the appropriateness of behavior.”
“The Claremont Colleges are doing a wonderful job of working hard to be comprehensive of their approach to the development of this center, and I’m confident that it is going to be a really valued resource for student, staff and faculty,” Mount said.
According to Mount, it is essential for a resource center to be a place that is accessible to all students. She said that it needs to be a space where people find acceptance and support because the issue of sexual violence does not only affect its survivors.
“We are all invested; we are all affected,” she said.