By Molly Igoe
On Monday, Nov. 6 Suzy Sams, a part-time patrol officer with the Department of Public Safety, led a discussion about how to prevent and address campus sexual assault.
“Sexual assault takes away your choice in the matter, so we’re here to give you back choices,” said Candice Tyrell, Public Safety’s office manager.
The discussion allowed for students to ask questions about resources and the process of reporting an incident of sexual assault. They were also able to share their experiences.
According to the Washington College Handbook, sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which interferes with one’s life, including sexual violence. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, domestic violence and relationship violence, and stalking, according to Sams.
Sams said sexual harassment includes receiving unwanted nude pictures, posting sexually charged emails, posting inappropriate messages on social media platforms, and making inappropriate jokes based on someone’s gender or sexual orientation.
Students can report incidents to many people on campus, including, but not limited to, professors, Resident Assistants, Public Safety officers, Title IX officers, and Sexual Assault Response Advocates, headed by Director of Prevention Education and Advocacy Rachel Boyle.
Tyrell, who is a Sexual Assault Response Advocate, said they are on call 24/7. They are all trained in avenues victims can take, she said, whether it be going to the hospital with someone or accompanying them to the police station.
“Our role is to be there for you and let you know your choices,” she said.
There are confidential and non-confidential resources, according to Sams. The only confidential resource on campus is Health and Counseling Services, which means they are not required to share the information they receive. Non-confidential resources are required to share this information.
A confidential resource available off-campus is For All Seasons, a non-profit that provides support for victims of rape, sexual assault, and other traumas, according to their website. Their main office is located at 300 Talbot St. in Easton. There is a satellite location at 516 Washington St. in Chestertown.
Sue Golinski, former Title IX assistant coordinator, now works at For All Seasons, and attended the discussion.
“The main goal is to connect you to resources and make accommodations for you to make you as comfortable as possible,” she said.
Ultimately, Sams said, she wants students to “come to us and feel safe.”
To talk about an incident, make a report, or find out more information, students can call Health and Counseling Services at 410-778-7261, Public Safety at 410-778-7810, and Wellness and Prevention Education at 410-778-7277. For All Seasons can be reached 24 hours a day at 1-800-310-7273.