TCU is working to elevate awareness about college climates and how to address the concerns regarding sexual violence through a student sexual violence coalition.
The Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) office is forming the coalition called CARE Allies to aid in the understanding, education and prevention of sexual violence.
Leah Carnahan, assistant director of Title IX Advocacy and Education, formed the coalition last month along with her student intern Milana Bolash in response to Steven Crowder’s remarks that “rape culture is a myth”.
“After the Crowder incident, I had so many students come to me very upset and say things like, ‘I want to get involved because this is not okay,‘ and ‘I am not a survivor myself, but my friend is and I saw how upset she was, so what can I do to get involved,'” Carnahan said.
Bolash and Carnahan hope CARE Allies will give students a chance to voice personal concerns from their own experiences on campus, giving Carnahan insight to understand why TCU’s climate can unintentionally perpetuate a culture of sexual violence.
As a member of faculty, Carnahan intends for the coalition to provide student perspectives so she can address issues that she might not be aware of.
“A good example that was brought to our attention recently is that students on campus often think that they cannot report sexual violence incidents if they have been drinking because they think they will receive an alcohol violation,” Bolash said.
In addition to explaining the climate of TCU and sharing concerns from student perspectives, Carnahan plans to encourage the coalition to explore new ideas and provide solutions to problems and topics addressed in meetings.
“By being an office of one, Leah can only get so much feedback and response from the community. It can also hinder finding the best solutions to problems,” Bolash said. “CARE Allies will be a way to get some fresh and trendy ideas from students.”
The details of the coalition are still being structured by Bolash and Carnahan. The women expect to finalize decisions on the application and interview process, the possibility of officer positions and the frequency of meetings before summer ends.
Bolash and Carnahan plan for CARE Allies to officially start excepting members and begin meetings in the Fall of 2019.