Thoughts, issues, and questions about the changes…

The following are some of the thoughts, issues, and questions we have about the changes:

1) Having a centralized resource that provides advocacy, prevention, and education is key. These elements split apart do not create the same end result.

2) Having confidentiality is key. There are no federal or state regulations or mandates that say the AC can’t be confidential, on campus advocates. It is the University’s decision and interpretation that they can’t be.

3) Students, staff, and faculty, survivors’ and allies’ voice were not included in this decision/policy formation.

4) Survivors are speaking out clearly that they prefer an advocacy center to a counseling center, as a resource.

5) The University will not be offering dedicated advocacy for survivors sexual assault and relationship violence on campus.

6) Throughout the last year, when changes occurred, the Division of Student Affairs never widely informed the student body.

7) The changes are in opposition to guidelines and best practices as stated in published documentation from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

8) Since the Counseling Center only provides service to full time, enrolled students, how will non-enrolled or part time students seek services? What about students during the semester breaks?

9) Who was involved in the decision process? Were any survivors or advocates consulted when making the changes?

10) Were the statistics around service utilization ever factored in? Statistics indicating what services students used, and what offices or departments these services fall under. For example, the Advocacy Center, the Counseling Center, the SANE program, and Vera House.

11) What are the 5 points of entry the memo refers to, and why would multiple entry points a bad thing? As far as we can count we have up to 6 entry points accounted for: The Advocacy Center, the Counseling Center, Health Services, Hendricks Chapel, DPS, and the Office of Student Assistance.

12) Why is “Deke” Mathieu, General Counsel for the University leaving at the end of June?

These are just what we have come up with. If you have questions, thoughts, comments, etc that we did not mention, please let us know. If the opportunity arises to dialogue with the Chancellor, we want to address the concerns you all have, in the most representative and democratic way possible.

As always, Thank you all for your continued attention and support. If you want to help us, lend us your voice. Make a ‪#‎BringBackTheAC‬ photo, send us some written thoughts, sign our petition, and help spread the word. Together we can have an unbelievable impact, this is not possible without all of you!


4 thoughts on “Thoughts, issues, and questions about the changes…”

  1. Just wondering, what’s going to happen to Janet Epstein? Obviously the jobs of all employees and volunteers are a concern but she’s such a central role to the AC and I’d hate to see her go. (Would she be given one of the two new positions?)

    1. As far as we know, Janet Epstein would be working out of the Office of Student Assistance under the realignment, but would not be specifically handling sexual assault and relationship violence cases, or advocacy. Neither Janet, or Jill Sneider will be a part of the Counseling Center, and the two new positions at the Counseling Center are not advocate positions, they would be for ongoing therapy and counseling. There will not be a designated advocate on campus.

      1. Okay, thanks. I didn’t realize that the new positions wouldn’t be dedicated to advocacy. This whole thing is frustrating to say the least…

  2. Regarding point #2: It should be emphasized that OCR “strongly encourages schools to designate these individuals [advocates] as confidential sources.” Closing the AC is based on something worse than a (mis)interpretation of federal guidelines; it is contrary to strong recommendations from the White House and the U.S. Dept. of Education.

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