Temple Student Government hosts ‘Know Your Resources’ panel

The panel was held Wednesday as part of TSG’s Sexual Assault Prevention Week to inform Temple students of resources for survivors of sexual assault, on and off campus.

Temple Student Government hosted a Know Your Resources panel Wednesday as part of Sexual Assault Prevention Week.

Panelists included university officials Title IX Coordinator Andrea Seiss, Assistant Director of the Wellness Resource Center Tom Johnson, Campus Safety Services’ Special Services Coordinator Donna Gray and Shondrika Merritt, an assistant director in University Housing and Residential Life. The president of Student Activists Against Sexual Assault Amela Burns also sat on the panel for a short time.

The panelists described how their roles are responsible for dealing with instances of sexual misconduct. For example, Seiss manages a survivor’s case against a perpetrator, while Merritt will manage a student’s safety in their on-campus housing. But all of the panelists and their departments work together to aid a survivor of sexual violence.

One of the topics covered by the panel was the definition of consent. Johnson said consent should be defined as an “affirmative, informed, mutual and enthusiastic” response to sexual activity.

A large focus of the discussion was making Temple a place where students feel like they can talk openly about sexual assault.

“[Sexual assault response] is all about creating a culture of self-care and care for others,” Gray said.

About 15 students attended the event, including Julian Brown, a sophomore media studies and production major.

“I came to educate myself,” Brown said. “The event was very informative. … I’m glad I came.”

TSG’s Director of Communications Sarah Madaus said Sexual Assault Prevention Week was created to uphold TSG’s promise to educate freshmen about on-campus sexual assault early in the semester.

“[These events] are especially important because sexual violence on college campuses is often overlooked,” Madaus added.

“It’s great to get the word out that people have resources,” Merritt said after the panel. “There are people everywhere who can support you.”

Sexual Assault Prevention Week will continue with a Self-Defense Workshop on Thursday from 3-5 p.m. in Student Center Room 200A.

Alyssa Biederman

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