The Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, NevadaCares and New Student Initiatives hosted an event on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to help support sexual assault victims on campus and give survivors a platform to speak.
The event, “Spill the Tea”, began with a panel of sexual assault survivors made up of five female students. Here, they told the story of their assault and healing process.
“I was raped second semester freshman year,” said Mika Alvarez, NevadaCares PACKtivist and ASUN Senator. ”I was in complete denial. I think when you diminish rape into a clear straight box, you lose the ability to realize what has fully happened to you. Healing is not linear. I’m still trying to heal. It’s like a ping pong that you sometimes lose.”
After survivors shared their stories, Daniel Fred of NevadaCares hosted the event and shared support services offered on campus and ways to report incidents.
Lauren Reid of University Police Services explained the steps to report a sexual misconduct issue. Campus police offers two self-defense classes, Rape Aggression Defense and Girls on Guard. RAD is a 12-hour education and physical strategy course to protect women from being sexually assaulted. A student will be required to attend all 12-hours to complete the course. Girls on Guard is a two to four-hour risk awareness and physical defense course, which is able to be customized to a group. If a student is under the age of eighteen, a guardian will need to sign a permission slip in order to attend the courses.
“One of my passions is to help students who have faced sexual assault,” Reid said.
A member from Crisis Call Center: Victim’s Advocate spoke about how the program works to help survivors. Victim’s Advocate is available for adults who have experienced sexual assault, domestic abuse, stalking and harassment. They allow students to speak about their assault with confidentiality. The student will need to sign a form and contract explaining to the advocate what they are looking for. One program Victim Advocate’s offer is a free and confidential support group.
Maria Doucettperry, the Director of Title IX, shared resources with students. The Office of EOTIX allows sexual assault survivors on campus to have an escort so they can move freely from their classes, ensures the victim will not have their assaulter in the same class or club, allows students to move residence halls to avoid their perpetrator, gives students academic support services and helps restrict the aggressor to online courses. The Office of EOTIX can not expel anyone because they do not have the power of suspension or expulsion, according to Doucettperry.
Kimberly Woods shared resources offered by the Office of Student Conduct for sexual assault victims. When a student reports sexual misconduct, the Assistant Dean will determine if there was a violation in the Student Code of Conduct, according to Woods. The OSC will then report the incident to EOTIX in order to launch an investigation. The Office of EOTIX is required to report their findings to the OSC. If there is a potential violation in Title IX’s investigation, the Assistant Dean will send the accused student a “Notice of Investigation”. The accused student has ten working days to schedule a conference with the Assistant Dean.
A representative from Counseling Services explained how they allow individual counseling, which emphasizes daily functions and academics. A counselor will have referral options to cater to a student’s psychological needs. There are specialized counselors with different training and experiences such as eating disorders, military veterans, international students, student-athletes, LGBTQIA+ students and students who come from different ethnics, socio-economic or cultural backgrounds. Group therapy is an option to give support to each other. If a student has urgent psychological needs, they may go to Urgent Care hours, Monday through Friday.
Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.