One in ten, that’s the number of University of Alaska Anchorage students who responded that they had recently experienced sexual misconduct or assault on a campus climate survey last year.
The incidents didn’t necessarily happen on campus, but a new resource located on university grounds could help.
Friday, officials cut the ribbon on the Center For Advocacy, Relationships and Sexual Violence. The center, a small room located within busy Rasmuson Hall, is funded by the university and staffed by members of the nonprofit Standing Together Against Rape, or S.T.A.R.
Bridget Dooley, Title IX Director for UAA, said having the nonprofit staff the center would be a benefit for students because, unlike university staff, they don’t have a legal obligation to report sexual abuse or violence. Whatever students chose to share could remain confidential.
“With S.T.A.R. staffing it is going to make it possible for them to come to a confidential resource, learn all their options and then they can decide what they want to do when they are fully informed,” said Dooley.
The center will offer students and university staff a trained person to talk with, and be able to link them to other resources as needed. S.T.A.R. Director Keeley Olson said it didn’t matter if people had recent concerns or events that happened in their past.
“We don’t care where or when it happened,” said Olson. “If the person feels it’s effecting them now we want to help them with that.”
The Center is staffed from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Olson said people can also call the posted hotline number 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and a member of S.T.A.R. will respond to the university campus.