Students can find a variety of resources and can get involved in preventing sexual violence on campus
As students arrive at North Dakota State University, they learn about sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking through “We Take a Stand.” However, this is not the only service provided to students who may be experiencing these struggles. Throughout campus, students have access to many different resources to help if they have experienced sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or harassment.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy is an on-campus organization that helps fight sexual violence. This group is able to help students that may have been a victim, help students report an incident, or provide resources to survivors.
Student Health Service is a great resource for students wanting to talk about or wanting support after facing sexual violence. Located in the Wellness Center, the department is there to give support to students and help them with their overall health.
The Counseling Center, located in Ceres Hall, is another place to go if a student is facing struggles. The Counseling Center can help students through depression, anxiety, sexual violence and those struggling with mental and emotional health.
Student Health Services and the Counseling Center will remain confidential if the student chooses. These locations are the only exception to the mandated reporting system.
The mandated reporting for the Title XI system requires all NDSU employees to report instances of Sexual Harassment of any kind that they may know about. This will allow the university to know about incidents and help students through them.
Students are also able to go directly to the Equity Office to seek help or receive resources. “Our Equity Office is really good about always making sure survivors have a choice,” Megan Talcott, NDSU’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator, said. The Equity Office is able to help you report a claim or just give options on how to act when affected by sexual assault.
If a student is not wanting to report an incident at the moment, NDSU is still able to give students accommodations on campus. This may include switching a residence hall, getting a contact order or get students in touch with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.
The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center is located downtown and is a free resource for survivors of dating violence. They have counselors, a crisis line, education and outreach. This outside resource allows survivors to separate their experience from their time at college.
“We realize every situation is different, every student’s needs are different, so we can work on those case by case to make sure that student is getting the help that they need,” said Talcott.
NDSU Faculty and Staff also have resources to help students. They can support and help survivors walk through what to do if they have been affected by sexual violence. This allows students to have access to resources through any faculty worker or professor on campus.
Students can help prevent sexual assault by being knowledgeable about the resources and the signs of dating violence. Students can be active bystanders by seeking help, causing a distraction or speaking up if something doesn’t look right.
“For so long Sexual Assault was something that nobody talked about,” Talcott said. By talking about this issue and by spreading awareness, students can act against sexual violence. Seeking education, taking classes and having conversations are some of the ways that students can help prevent sexual violence.
There are also events on campus to help survivors of sexual violence and to raise awareness on this issue. The Sexual Assault and Prevention agency is partnering with campus attractions for “Painting for Positivity.” Students will get a painting activity while learning about positive relationships.
Violence Prevention Educators, or VPEs, are student volunteers who plan events and present material on campus. They go through extra training during the summer in order to better help their peers on campus. The VPEs organize and present events such as “We Take a Stand” and “Take Back the Night.”
VPEs also work with social media and work with campus attractions. There are about 10 VPEs who work to spread awareness and help their classmates. Talcott added, “they are very passionate students who really care about what they’re doing.” The program is also open for the VPE volunteers to incorporate what they care about into the program.
The Fraternities and Sororities also have access to the “Enough Organization.” These are Greek activists who fight against sexual assault, violence, stalking and hazing.
The Healthy Herd Champions and The Body Project are two other programs that students are able to get involved in to help prevent mental health issues. The Healthy Herd Champions help students in all-around wellness such as sleep, mental health and substance use. The Body Project promotes healthy body image, and how to get past societies’ standards of body image.
“I am here and ready to support them in any way that I can,” Talcott said. If you have faced sexual assault or dating violence, reach out to any of the resources talked about above, contact Megan Talcott or go to https://www.ndsu.edu/studenthealthservice/sexual_assault_prevention_and_advocacy/
To learn more about Sexual Assault and Prevention Advocacy on campus or find future events, visit @ndsuveps on Instagram, MyNDSU or the NDSU Health Promotion Facebook page.