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Sexual assault open forum promotes change
BY TY GOOCH
On Nov. 13, students gathered
in silence at the open community
forum on sexual assault. Sponsored
by Guilford College's Sexual Assault
Awareness Support and Advocacy
and Sexual Violence Prevention
Committee, the forum gave
students the opportunity to share
experiences with sexual assault in a
Moderated by senior and
Community Senate President
Saihir Hazboun, Campus Ministry
Coordinator Max Carter and
Associate Professor of Sociology
and Anthropology Julie Winteridi,
the forum flowed participants to
speak out of the silence, providing
each attendee the opportunity to
share their feelings and experiences.
The forum offered a silent, safe
zone where participants could
speak out as they felt inclined to do
As an open forum, the event was
not a place for debate. Participants
were allowed to comment on
anything they felt was relevant, as silence and the moderators opened safety officers need to be taught
long as it did not challenge anoAer the floor for suggestions on how to sensitivity trairung, something that
improve the current sexual assault SAASA had tried to accomplish in
resources on campus. the past.
Junior Alexander Morales raised But then the question arose of
the issue that anonymous reports whose job it would be to actually
are not listed anywhere and that handle all these sensitivity training
steps should be taken to include workshops. Although multiple
participant's previous comment,
Whenever someone broke the
silence, everyone listened intensely,
showing strong support.
And while most of the stories
shared were negative, the energy
in the room ■
posiHve. pggj someone whose job it is to coordinate
hands, hugged betweeo faculty and staff, to put out workshops
and dedicate their full time to tackle the complex
issues of our systemic culture."
and cried in
arms. The room
amazed by how
Julia Draper, junior
help out with
survivors, no one
can dedicate their
full time to the
me how thin
we stretch our
said first-year Marek Wojtala. "It these reports on a list of all sexual Draper, Guilford needs to create a
saddened me to hear about all of assault reports. full-time "wellness position."
these things, but the support of the Others raised concerns that "We need someone whose job
community makes me feel proud to public safety officers are not it is to coordinate between faculty
be at Guilford." properly trained in responding to and staff, to put out workshops and
After attendees shared their sexual assault reports. dedicate their full time to tackle
stories, the room fell back into According to attendees, public the complex issues of our systemic
culture," said Draper.
Many other students supported
the idea of a wellness position.
"I hope that people recognize
how many people are affected on
campus and that the faculty realizes
that students want a wellness
position," said senior Paris El-Ali.
After the forum ended, students
remarked on how successful it was.
"I felt like it was a really powerful
experience," said junior Sam Cole.
"It helped people realize that they're
not alone, and that there are people
here to help."
While there are people who can
help, senior and SAASA President
Cappa Cheatham, noted that some
students still remain quiet.
"Students, faculty and staff
spoke out tonight, but there are still
students on this campus that are
suffering in silence," said Cheatham.
"(Sexual assault) is so common here.
Every 21 hours a student is sexually
assaulted on a college campus
and Guilford is no exception. The
difference is that Guilford is more
proactive than reactive compared to
this week’s developments
Kent Ghabotar gave a presidential
address to the student body and also
made himself available to the student
body for a 30-minute Q&A session.
next week’s plans
Students will further prepare for the
joint CCE SGA/Senate hosting of board
of trustees members Esther Hall and
Lionel Johnson on Dec. 2 @ 6:30 p.m.
The proposed changes to Community
Senate’s by-laws by the Steering
Committee will be discussed.
We need to hear your voice. Have
an idea? Concern? Great recipe?
It is important to us.
Compiled by Samir Hazboun, Community Senate president
Kent Chabotar came to
Community Senate on Nov. 18 and
answered the following questions
in-depth for the first half-hour,
before going on to field questions
from the student body.
1. What attracted you to Guilford
College and its presidency?
2. What was the condition of the
College when you arrived in 2002?
3. What do you consider your greatest
4. Unfinished business?
5. Challenges for your successor?
6. What’s next for you?