Temple and Women Organized Against Rape establish region’s first campus office
The 24/7 resource will be available starting Feb. 1.
To help further remove barriers to reporting incidents of sexual violence, Temple University and Women Organized Against Rape are establishing a Main Campus satellite office. The first-of-its-kind collaboration between the university and WOAR starts Wednesday, Feb. 1.
“WOAR has long supplemented Temple’s sexual misconduct resources, but now members of the university community will benefit from their on-site presence after regular business hours,” said Andrea Seiss, Temple’s Title IX coordinator. “This safe, confidential reporting option provides 24/7 support and response by one of the nation’s most respected rape crisis centers.”
Upon calling WOAR’s 24-hour hotline—215-985-3333—a Temple student who wants to confidentially report an incident of sexual violence will receive support and counseling from a trained WOAR volunteer. If an in-person meeting is requested, a WOAR representative will designate a location to meet on campus. The representative could also arrange transportation for medical treatment and accompany the survivor to get whatever help or services he or she needs.
The survivor will also be given the option to access the full range of Temple’s resources, such as Campus Safety Services, including Donna Gray, the university’s risk reduction and advocacy services manager; Tuttleman Counseling Services; Student Health Services; the Wellness Resource Center; and the Title IX coordinator, among others.
“WOAR is excited about enhancing its partnership with Temple and becoming a presence on the campus and in North Philadelphia,” said Monique Howard, WOAR’s executive director. “This new direction in our relationship demonstrates Temple’s commitment to ensuring that its students are protected from sexual harassment and sexual violence and that services will be available 24 hours a day.”
The collaboration between Temple and WOAR—a first between a university and the nonprofit organization—is a response to student advocacy and recommendations made by the university’s Presidential Committee on Campus Sexual Misconduct, which conducted a climate survey that showed desire for 24-hour support and resources. Earlier this month, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault included 24/7 emergency services as a key element of coordinated campus and community responses to sexual misconduct.
Kelly Dawson, vice president of services for Temple Student Government, spoke to students about their interest in having additional support services and channeled those concerns to key administrators. Dawson said she appreciates having another confidential reporting mechanism available to Temple students.
“This collaboration shows the importance of student government in being a liaison, because that is our purpose, to relay students’ concerns to the administration in a way that gets results,” she said. “Students were being advocates, and TSG and the university administration responded.”