Sexual Assault Response Team seeks to strengthen presence with students
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 14:09
Seton Hall's Sexual Assault Response Team is implementing some changes to become better known around campus.
The assistant director of Public Safety and founder of Rape Aggression Defense, Gary Christie, said SART is a very strong program but is always accepting new volunteers.
"Each year we look for volunteers as our advocates graduate and move on," Christie said. "We are always looking for motivated students who are willing to make the commitment to become part of our team."
According to Christie, better advertising around campus will help the success of the organization.
"We hope to increase our programming to increase awareness about SART," Christie said.
Associate Dean and advocate of SART Christopher Kuretich, agreed with Christie, saying it is important to advertise on campus.
"Each semester we think of new ways to better promote the program," Kuretich said. "Sexual Assault is the most under-reported crime and SART serves as a way to make advocates available to victims of assaults even if they wish to remain anonymous."
Wendy Ekua Quansah, a senior English major, said that she doesn't think many students realize what SART has to offer, and suggested better ways to advertise.
"I don't think many know about or understand the program," Ekua Quansah said. "To advertise better, they could do things such as become a co-sponsor with another organization so at events, people hear about SART, which will make them become more recognized and mentioned."
According to a news release, SART is available to all members of the University Community 24/7, providing a wide range of anonymous services.
The news release also stated that "members of SART will inform you of your rights and options, assist you in getting a free medical exam, assist you in filing a report with the University or police, assist you in obtaining counseling and other services, accompany you through all stages of investigative, legal or disciplinary process."
Christie said that he came up with the idea for SART because one in four college-age women are sexually assaulted.
"Sexual assault remains one of our most under-reported crimes," Christie said. "I dream of finding a way to help that 25 percent come forward to get help and maybe change attitudes in the process. One of our main goals is to increase reporting."
"We encourage people to write down SART's contact info or store it in their phone," Kuretich said. "Even if it's just to call the hotline and ask questions about services for victims of sexual assault whether those services are on campus or off, SART is here to be that resource."
Kimberly Bolognini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.