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CCSU Aims To Aid Victim Advocacy

by Sarah Willson

Hoping to make Central Connecticut a safer space, the Student Government Association has begun to work toward implicating new victim advocacy measures in an effort to help students both on and off campus.

The Student Life Committee, which is part of the SGA, said they will “push for more awareness of the resources our campus offers” with the CCSU Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention program, according to the chair, Victor Constanza.

Sarah Dodd, the CCSU Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention Specialist, was reached out to multiple times, but failed to comment within the time frame provided to her.

Constanza said that one of the simplest but most effective things the SGA is working toward the idea of a plaque that contains all the information for victim advocacy, such as hotlines, counseling, the CCSU Police Department and more. The plaque, ideally, Constanza said, will be put up on top of each peephole in every dorm room on campus.

One of the more ambitious steps Constanza said the SGA has already taken includes the creation of mandatory by-stander and resources training for club executive board members.

“We want to make it mandatory to student leaders on-campus as they do lead clubs themselves,” Constanza said. “The information will trickle down and have people more informed.”

However, Constanza said that at this point in time, the SGA will be unable to “make it mandatory because of time constraints of this semester.” Due to this, the plan is said to “hopefully” be in motion for the next academic year.

Still, a “test run” will begin taking place with club e-boards on March 25 in order to encourage club members to participate in next years mandatory training.

Along with this, clubs will have the chance to “raise their club budgets” if they attend the 90-minute training via raffle, having more than one chance to win depending on how many members from the club attend.

Constanza added that SGA President Brendan Kruh, along with the Black Student Union and Co-Chair of Academic Affairs is also attempting to “reform” the First Year Experience classes.

According to Constanza, the “reformed class” will include everything from lectures about diversity to suicide awareness training and everything in-between. Constanza said that by doing this, he hopes to “create a new generation of student[s] who are informed, inclusive and know what to do in matters of crisis.”

Kristina Frederic, a senior at CCSU, thought that implementing new information to students was ultimately a good idea, as she said she is not too aware of the programs and resources the campus provides.

“I only know about [the resources] that have come to my classrooms, but that’s basically it,” Frederic said. “I think that besides going to classes, [CCSU] should sponsor more events so people can become more aware.”

“Everyone in the SGA really does want the best for our students. We will always try our best in all kinds of pursuit. We hope that these initiatives [will] start a wave of change of culture on campus and in all the surrounding communities,” Constanza said. “Student Life is especially taking this on because we see that too many people, on and off campus, are getting hurt [by] sexual violence or harassment. The most we can do is to try to change the culture, and especially eliminate rape culture, and improve our society here on campus so students can carry it on once they enter the workforce.”