Graduate students hold discussion about Time’s Up on campus

Times+Up

Time’s Up

The Graduate College and Graduate Student Center are looking to implement ideas from the Time’s Up movement onto campus.

In a discussion facilitated by graduate students, students, mostly undergraduates, discussed how the Time’s Up movement is relevant to campus, what students see on campus and what changes can be made to improve campus life.

Around 25 students showed up, many because of a class, and split into small groups to discuss these questions.

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Time’s Up is a movement created to stop sexual assault, harassment and misconduct in the workplace. It was a branch off of the #MeToo movement.

Jennifer McCary, the Title IX Coordinator, said, “This is an important conversation to be had and we want to make sure people are talking about it.”

Several graduate students at the University got together and approached Margaret Zoller-Booth to have these discussions with the campus to make a change.

Zoller-Booth stated that there has only lately been conversations about sexual harassment in the context of institutes of higher learning.

Lauren Dial, one of the graduate student facilitators, said, “This issue is not specific to Hollywood and can be reflected in the university setting.”

The general discussion between the students and facilitators branched over many topics and issues found at the University.

“Their feedback was amazing and it’s great to have these sorts of intellectual conversations about things that I can relate to,” Angela Clark-Taylor, the director for the Women’s Center said, “Students are our emerging colleagues.”

Many people agreed on the importance of being able to be there and listen to a survivor and be in interpersonal situations between students as well as feeling comfortable enough with instructors to speak with them if needed. Though, it was also discussed that most people who work for the University are mandated reporters, so if a student talks to anyone employed by the University, they have to talk to superiors about reporting. 

A majority of the discussion was about resources available to students after they experience assault, harassment or abuse. Many students were not aware of the full scope of what is offered to students who need them.

The two main spots for students to receive support are the Counseling Center and the Cocoon. The Counseling Center has walk-in hours every weekday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the College Park Office. However, many students expressed concerns about the number of counselors there to meet student’s needs. Stories of students waiting a month, or two, for an appointment or waiting for full three and half hours when walking in and not seeing a counselor were brought up. Counselors are not mandated reporters.

The representative from the Counseling Center acknowledged these concerns and also said the center will continue to learn best practices about helping people with sexual assault.

The Cocoon has an advocate specifically for students who can help them in almost any way they need to be helped after they have been assaulted, harassed or abused. The Cocoon advocate is also not a mandated reporter.

Other confidential resources offered by the University are the Link of Behavorial Connections and the Psychological Services Center.

The Women’s Center was also mentioned, and it will have changes in the future. Clark-Taylor said they are looking to serve people of all genders and they are hoping to change the name to “the Center for Women and Gender Equity” to be more inclusive. They are looking to have a male engagement network, to help prevent sexual assault, and support men who may be victims of assault.

The Graduate College and Graduate Student Senate are having another discussion for just graduate students Thursday, April 5.

“I hope that this incites some sort of change, through education, awareness and providing some resources to make change for the better,” Dial said.