College raises awareness of sexual assault

By Elizabeth Kessel

Walking across campus at night can be scary for many college students. Now, add on the fact that someone may be following or watching students at night. What should a student do in that situation?

April is sexual assault awareness month when people raise awareness about sexual assault and how people can prevent it from happening and what to do if it happens to someone.

There is a law called Title IX at Clackamas Community College.

It is a clear guideline on how to treat people in educational programs.

This law states that no one should be discriminated against for their gender, sexual orientation and more.

This law is there to help students feel safe at their school and be able to report assaults to the Title IX coordinator and receive help.

The Title IX coordinator at CCC is Patricia Anderson Wieck, and is also the dean of human resources.

“So what we build, our Title IX program here at this college, what we build it on is respect and so we say respect everyone, respect every person,” said Anderson Wieck.

Students can also go even further and help themselves by being aware of their surroundings at all times, walk with other students, especially if it is at night time, carry pepper spray or a whistle, or even call Campus Safety.

Campus Safety Interim Manager, Pete Kandratieff, said, “Yeah we recommend to always use the buddy system and we provide walk out service.”

Kandratieff said that campus safety can provide walk out service with a student to their car, wait with them at a bus stop and even drive around the parking lot to help students feel safer.

Some campuses, like Portland State University, use emergency posts that scatter the campus, lit by a blue LED light, where a student can press a button and campus safety officers will pick up. However, CCC has not yet adopted that system.

Lori Hall, the public information officer, said, “What I can respond to that is recent surveys have shown that those are not as efficient and give people a false sense of security at times. So a lot of universities are steering away from using the blue call buttons. And I think especially too that those blue call buttons started before anyone had cellphones and so now with the prevalence of cell phones there’s no need for them.”

Campus Safety can be reached at 503-594-6650, but the best number to call is 911, where campus safety will also be alerted to an emergency on campus. If a student would like to report something to Anderson Wieck, the number is 503-594-3300.

However, if a student does not want to report something but instead just talk it out, soon there will be advocate on campus. An advocate can give privacy to the student where they can’t report what they hear and it will also give students a chance to talk.

For survivors of sexual assault on campus and anybody else, there is an app that can help. Currently partnered with 132 colleges and universities, this app called Capptivation packages all of your options and contacts into one.

“We hope that by bringing awareness of the app to campus, that we can help survivors and friends/ family members of survivors because through the app, they will be able to access crucial information, in a more easy and intuitive fashion,” said Jack Zandi, who is responsible for the app’s data maintenance.

April might be sexual assault awareness month, but this is a nonstop topic for many students yearly. Be safe.

Portland State University students walk past the emergency post on campus where a student can push a button to reach campus safety. Photo by Collin Berend

Elizabeth Kessel