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Faculty Toolkit: Be the Bridge

Be the Bridge is a faculty toolkit for the prevention of, and response to, sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating violence, intimate partner violence and stalking).

We are grateful for the relationships you build with students in your role as a faculty member. Will you join us in taking a strong visible stand against sexual violence?

Contents:


Dear Faculty Member,

Also available in
Be the Bridge (PDF)

St. John’s University has been recognized by the Department of Justice and the Office of Violence Against Women for our interdisciplinary team approach to preventing and responding to violence. The responsibility to protect and support each St. John’s student is an important one and shared by all members of the Institution.

The rates of sexual violence are extremely high nationally; 1 in 5 women will be assaulted while attending a college or university. It can seem like a daunting task to make change in our society regarding such a prolific and broad problem. However, we have already seen a huge change in the discourse around this topic. As an institution, St. John’s has joined the conversation and is looking forward to the change that is on the horizon.

We understand your lives are tremendously busy and for that reason we appreciate your willingness to partner with us to help reduce violence, improve safety and thereby improve the quality of education available to all students. For your convenience, we have compiled this toolkit in the hopes of offering simple suggestions that you can refer to or implement through the semester that will allow for you to actively share in creating a safe campus without ever having to leave your classroom or office.

This document outlines how to connect a student in crisis to resources on campus, what to do when a report/disclosure is made, as well as proactive ways you can make a statement against sexual violence. The toolkit also contains brief straightforward examples of how to help us make this campus a safe place for all of our students. We hope you find this toolkit helpful.

Thank you for all you do in creating a safe space for our students.

Jackie Lochrie
Associate Dean of Students
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
718-990-6568
lochriej@stjohns.edu

Hannah Artiles-Stravers
Director
Sexual Violence Outreach, Awareness, and Response (SOAR)
718-990-6550
straverh@stjohns.edu

This project was supported by Grant No. 2014-WA-AX-0002 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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Responding To Incidents

University Responsibility

According to the St. John’s University HR Policy Manual, in accordance with the Title IX legal mandate, every member of the faculty, administration, and staff of St. John’s University, acting in his or her capacity as an employee of the University, is obligated to immediately report any incident of sexual assault, rape, or other forcible sexual offense against any member of the University community upon learning of the incident. Additionally, every member of the faculty, administration, and staff is similarly obligated to report any incident of intimate partner violence or stalking against any student member of the University upon learning of the incident. Even when the individual requests confidentiality of the incident, the employee has a responsibility to report it.

What You Can Do

When a student discloses an incident to you, you cannot promise confidentiality; however, you can offer support and direction to assist the student.

If a student reports information that describes imminent danger, call 911 and Public Safety directly from any campus phone. When no imminent danger exists, you should encourage the student to report this information to Public Safety. You can offer to accompany the student to the Public Safety building or call and a Public Safety officer will come to the student.

Public Safety can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Queens Campus
718-990-5252
Staten Island Campus
718-390-4487

It is important to tell the student that you will need to report what you have learned, even if the student does not want to. You should call immediately.

You can also offer the following confidential resources to the student:

Campus Support Advisor (CSA)

The Campus Support Advisors are able to keep the information confidential and assist the student in seeking counseling support and other resources available, as well as explain the University response process. The CSAs are available to students on all campuses and can be reached by calling 718-990-8484. Their call will be returned by the next business day.

Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC)

The CCC has mental health professionals available to provide free and confidential support and assistance. Counseling services are available on the Queens and Staten Island campuses.

Queens Campus
Marillac Hall Room 130
718-990-6384
Staten Island Campus
Spellman Hall Room 101
718-390-4451

Student Health Services

Student Health Services also has staff available to provide medical assistance and support. Health services are available on the Queens and Staten Island campuses.

Queens Campus
DaSilva Hall First Floor
718-990-6360
Staten Island Campus
Campus Center Room B-17
718-390-4447

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Responding To Disclosures

Ensure Safety

  • Is the student in imminent danger?
  • If so, call 911 and Public Safety directly from any campus phone.

Respond Sensitively And Appropriately

Know what to say and do.

  • Listen without interrupting.
  • Be comfortable with expressions of emotion.
  • Acknowledge their courage in sharing.

Know what not to say and do.

  • Do not ask why or judge their actions.
  • Avoid telling them what to do.
  • Do not minimize what they are experiencing or feeling.

Find out what they need for the class.

  • What support systems can you provide the student with to help them be successful in the class?

Refer To Appropriate On-Campus Resources

Public Safety

Available 24/7 by calling 718-990-5252 (Queens) or 718-390-4487 (Staten Island)

They can assist with transportation to a local hospital, as well as contacting or reporting an incident to local law enforcement, including the local District Attorney’s office.

Title IX Coordinator

Reports of sexual violence can also be made to St. John’s Title IX Coordinator. Yael Wepman, Director of Employee Relations and Compliance, serves as St. John’s University’s Title IX Coordinator.

Yael Wepman’s office is located on the Queens campus in the Office of Human Resources, University Center, and she can be contacted at 718- 990-2660 or wepmany@stjohns.edu.

Jackie Lochrie, Associate Dean for Student Services, serves as the Title IX Deputy Coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs. Ms. Lochrie’s office is located on the Queens campus in University Center, B19, and she can be contacted at 718-990-6568 or lochriej@stjohns.edu.

Kathleen F. Meehan, Associate Vice President for Athletics, serves as the Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Athletics. Ms. Meehan’s office is located on the Queens campus in Carnesecca Arena, Room 157, and she can be contacted at 718-990-6173 or meehank@stjohns.edu.

Following a report, Ms. Wepman or her deputy, Ms. Lochrie will investigate and respond to your complaint.

Campus Support Advisor (CSA)

The Campus Support Advisors are able to keep the information confidential and assist the student in seeking counseling support and other resources available, as well as explain the University response process. The CSAs are available to students on all campuses and can be reached by calling 718-990-8484. Their call will be returned by the next business day.

Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC)

The CCC has mental health professionals available to provide free and confidential support and assistance. Counseling services are available on the Queens and Staten Island campuses.

Queens Campus
Marillac Hall Room 130
718-990-6384
Staten Island Campus
Spellman Hall Room 101
718-390-4451

Campus Ministry

Campus ministers are available for spiritual support and follow-up referrals.

Queens Campus
Marillac Hall Room 239
718-990-6255
Staten Island Campus
Notre Dame House
718-390-4475

Student Health Services

Student Health Services also has staff available to provide medical assistance and support. Health services are available on the Queens and Staten Island campuses.

Queens Campus
DaSilva Hall First Floor
718-990-6360
Staten Island Campus
Campus Center Room B-17
718-390-4447

When a Report Is Made

After a report is made, the Title IX Coordinator will be informed and will oversee the investigation and process. The student will also have contact with a support person from the University who will discuss the survivor’s options for formal reporting procedures and available medical, counseling, academic, legal, and housing resources. For further details on how to help the student in need and a complete listing of on- and off-campus resources, check the University website page, Helping Survivors of Sexual Assault.

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What You Can Do

Download Our Icon

St. John’s University has joined the White House Task Force to protect students from sexual assault by implementing the “It’s On Us” campaign. It’s on us, all of us, to change the dynamic of sexual violence, and to do what we can to make it stop. Students see this campaign at different events and workshops across campus throughout the year. Hearing the same message, or a similar one, from their faculty will reinforce the cultural norm that sexual violence is not tolerated at St. John’s University. With just a few seconds, you can help establish concern for student safety and bystander intervention as the campus norm. With repeated exposures across settings, students and colleagues will begin to have the expectation that everyone plays a part in community safety.

Below are some ways you can take part in SJU’s “It’s On Us” campaign and remind our students to intervene in potentially harmful situations and to be a part of making our campus safe for all.

Spread the Logo

You can download the logo for your own use by visiting stjohns.edu/itsonus.

Syllabus Paragraph

Just by adding a paragraph to your course syllabus you can help us reinforce the “It’s On Us” message that students are hearing from many different venues.

Here is an example, however, feel free to tailor this to suit your needs:

St. John’s University takes pride in being a welcoming and safe community. Please join me in preventing sexual violence by intervening when you notice a harmful situation. It’s on us to be part of the solution, do something to get in the way of sexual assault. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of sexual violence, St. John’s University offers many resources. Visit www.stjohns.edu/sexualassault to learn more about what options are available.

Your Email

Have an endorsement statement of some kind attached to your e-mail signature line, such as:

"It’s on US to stop Sexual Violence"

or

Check out our video or sign up for a workshop at stjohns.edu/itsonus.

In-Class Awareness

  • Insert a slide in all your PowerPoint presentations that includes information about St. John’s It’s On Us Bystander campaign. Display it before and after class.
  • Include a brief statement on your course syllabus reflecting your commitment to a safe campus and listing campus resources (including yourself) if someone needs a safe person to seek help.
  • Have a St. John’s It’s On Us Bystander campaign item (i.e. magnet, button, cling, etc.) hanging in your office. For items available, contact the Office of Wellness Education and Prevention at 718-990-6550.
  • Have local resource brochures visibly available in your office and/or classroom. Contact the Office of Wellness Education and Prevention Services for copies.

Videos

Share the following It’s On Us campaign videos with your students!

Powerful Quotes

A simple quote can carry big impact. Would you be willing to add a quote to your email signature or your class PowerPoints? Here are some ideas of quotes that relate to the theme of bystander intervention.

  • “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
    — Mohandas Gandhi
  • “The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
    — Albert Einstein
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
    — Anne Frank
  • “I am here and so are you. And we matter. We can change things.”
    — Ella Baker
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
    — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Washing one’s hand of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”
    — Paulo Freire
  • “To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.”
    — Theodore H. White

Follow up any of these quotes with the following, “It’s on us at St. John’s University to be a part of the solution. Join me in standing up against sexual violence.”

Visibility

Show your support by providing correct information to our students. Post a Title IX Reporting poster in your office. Contact Jackie Lochrie, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, to receive copies. If our students are aware of the Title IX procedures, SJU will be able to prevent incidents, as well as, respond in a timely and appropriate manner.

Paper Topics

Below we have listed a few ideas of how you can get your students learning about the dynamics of sexual violence.

Please contact Hannah Artiles-Stravers, Director, Sexual Violence Outreach, Awareness, and Response (SOAR), at 718-990-6550 or straverh@stjohns.edu, if you would like to discuss how to relate this topic to your discipline. There are many ways to connect this issue with what you are teaching in the classroom.

  • Popular rape myths and an analysis of why they are so difficult to dispel
  • The portrayal of violence against women in the media
  • The history and application of the Violence Against Women Act
  • How male/female socialization perpetuates violence against women
  • The economic impact of interpersonal violence (see publication manual for estimating the economic costs of injuries due to interpersonal and self-directed violence)
  • Rates and impact of male victimization experiences (which includes, but is not limited to, child abuse)
  • Portrayal of violence against women in the media
  • Seven characteristics of a rapist (see research by David Lisak)
  • The cycle of violence and ways to combat / eliminate Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
  • How technology has revolutionized stalking
  • Battered women syndrome
  • Outcomes in case law of famous domestic violence and rape trials
  • Objectives and impact of the federal Office of Violence Against Women (OVW)
  • Problems with rape and domestic violence legislation
  • Violence against women from a global perspective
  • Bystander role in preventing sexual violence
  • IPV in the LGBTQ community
  • Medical injuries sustained by victims of domestic violence
  • The psychological effects of rape victimization
  • The Battered Women’s Movement

Journal/Writing Assignments

Choose an article to read from the following list and journal about what you learned from this article. While journaling, also record whatever thoughts come to mind, things you had difficulty understanding or would like to know more about and conclude with a statement that describes your honest reaction to the information presented.

  • Sharon Aneta Bryant and Gale A. Spencer, “University Students’ Attitudes About Attributing Blame in Domestic Violence” Journal of Family Violence, Dec 2003, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p 369-376.
  • Mary P. Brewster, “Power and Control Dynamics in Prestalking and Stalking Situations” Journal of Family Violence, Aug 2003, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p 207-217.
  • Ann Burgess, “Stalking Behaviors Within Domestic Violence” Journal of Family Violence, Dec 1997, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p 389-403.
  • Nancy J. Shook, “Courtship Violence Among College Students: A Comparison of Verbally and Physically Abusive Couples” Journal of Family Violence, Mar 2000, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p 1-22.
  • Michael A. Anderson, “‘Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?’ A Descriptive Study of Victim Reported Impediments to Her Safety” Journal of Family Violence, Jun 2003, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p 151-155.
  • Marsha E. Wolf, “Barriers to Seeking Police Help for Intimate Partner Violence” Journal of Family Violence, Apr 2003, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p 121-129.
  • Joetta L. Carr, “Risk Factors for Male Sexual Aggression on College Campuses” Journal of Family Violence, Oct 2004, Vol. 19 Issue 5, p 279-289.
  • Jennifer Broach, “Beyond Traditional Definitions of Assault: Expanding Our Focus to Include Sexually Coercive Experiences” Journal of Family Violence, Nov 2006, Vol. 21 Issue 8, p 477-486.

Extra Credit Assignments

  • Attend a community or campus event which is focused on violence prevention or victim support (examples include: Take Back the Night rally; Clothesline Project).
  • Interview a local or campus service provider about their work and their opinions on prevention of violence.
  • Organize or participate in a project to further the prevention efforts on campus.
  • Attend a Bystander Leadership Training, sign up at www.stjohns.edu/itsonus.
  • Write an article for the local or campus newspaper about the importance of violence prevention.

You are a bridge to connect students to campus and community support. Working together, we can create a safer campus community for all our students.

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