Project S.A.F.E. and the Title IX Office are in the process of establishing student committees to advise their operations and better serve the student body.
Project S.A.F.E. established its student advisory committee last month. According to Project S.A.F.E. Program Coordinator and Prevention Education Specialist Marianne Frapwell, the committee will serve as a direct link to the student community for Project S.A.F.E. to receive feedback on current and potential programs.
Frapwell and Karla Aguilar, Project S.A.F.E. manager, created the committee after seeing the success of Emmons Student Wellness Center’s own student committee, the Student Wellness Advisory Council. The new student advisory committee is an opportunity for students who are passionate about Project S.A.F.E.’s mission but cannot fully commit to the time commitment required of its programming assistants (PAs).
Project S.A.F.E. PA Brian Erickson (senior) said that the main role of the committee is to advise Project S.A.F.E. staff on what trainings and programs should involve. According to Erickson, Project S.A.F.E. will be able to have a broader role on campus depending on feedback and direction from the committee members.
“Since I was first hired at Project S.A.F.E. at the end of my sophomore year, we’ve always been looking for ways to get ongoing, thoughtful input and engagement from as many members of the Oxy community as possible,” Erickson said. “I think the committee is an ideal way to solicit feedback, facilitate conversation and spur greater involvement.”
Aguilar said that the Project S.A.F.E. staff made the student advisory committee a top priority; the deadline for applications was Oct. 4 and students were sent invitation emails Oct. 6.
Neah Bois (first-year), one of the committee’s newly appointed members, said she applied because she strongly believes in the mission and work of Project S.A.F.E.
“I think the committee will be able to give a student’s perspective to the cause,” Bois said. “We know our peers best and so we know what appeals to them and what scares them.”
Aguilar said the goal for the committee is to improve Project S.A.F.E.’s outreach, training efficacy and prevention strategies. Committee feedback will then help Project S.A.F.E. programs delve deeper into issues that students are trying to highlight.
Title IX Office
The Title IX office is in the process of creating a student focus group to provide feedback on current and potential online educational and violence prevention programs addressing consent, sexual assault, dating violence and alcohol use.
The focus group will meet two times, according to Title IX Coordinator Ruth Jones. At the first meeting Nov. 3, students will familiarize themselves with the objectives for online education and be assigned potential programs to review. During the second meeting Nov. 17, the students will share what they thought about their assigned program.
The student focus group will also review Think About It, Occidental’s only existing online education program. Jones said that a general concern about Think About It and similar programs is their repetitiveness and how that can effect the value of the program. According to Frapwell, Occidental’s contract with the company behind the program, Campus Clarity, will end this year.
This is Jones’s second effort at eliciting student feedback. Last semester, she invited students to an open discussion on the online program, but none attended.
Every year before students start the semester, they are required to complete an online education course. Jones said the Title IX office would like to make sure that the program is just as educational and beneficial in the fourth year as it was the first year.
“As the student experience evolves from first-year student just entering college to a senior, we think through how the online education can continue to help in the educational process and that it is not simply a repetition of what they have studied before,” Jones said.
Frapwell thinks that having students review online educational programs will help produce a safer and more open community.
“In order to grow and improve, we must consistently evaluate our efforts and be open to making changes,” Frapwell said. “I think it’s especially important for students to review the online programs because they are the ultimate audience.”
Jones said that while the number of students in the group is not a top concern, it would be helpful to have a diverse set of perspectives. Jones has sent out emails to faculty, staff and administrators for them to share information about the focus group with potentially interested students.
Student applications for the focus group are due Saturday.