Brown Bag lectures focus on sexual violence prevention

Lisa Herdman

A meeting dedicated to preventing sexual violence was held at noon on Sept. 9 in Washburn University’s Vogel Room.

The meeting was held to give students and employees a chance to ask questions, bring up any concerns about sexual harassment on campus and educate students and faculty on what happens and what to do if reporting is necessary. It was hosted by four speakers: Pam Foster, Captain Chris Enos, Jamie Olsen and Rhonda Cantrell.

“We wanted to bring all the faculty involved [in handling this issue] together on campus,” said Pam Foster, the director of equal opportunity at Washburn. “We want these meetings to be interactive, so we can get feedback.”

Foster went on to address keeping the purpose and intent of lectures pedagogical, or strictly educational, when dealing with inappropriate subject matters. She mentioned teachers having problems with sexual or inappropriate passages that are included in class readings, and advised teachers to have a warning in their syllabi that gives students a chance to leave a class that may contain sensitive subject matter that is needed to enhance the lecture.

“I am happy to talk to any student or faculty member that has questions on any Washburn policy, and I can guide teachers through the next steps if they are confused,” said Captain Chris Enos, an officer at Washburn. “The big role officers play at Washburn is presenting options on this issue, and keeping sexual harassment victims safe from their offender and publicity.”

Also, counseling and human resource services in the meeting vouched to keep students information confidential unless legally required to release it.

“We have an open door. Anytime you need us to assist you, please come in,” said Rhoda Cantrell, director of human resources. “Confidentiality is key to us; only intimate individuals will be given the chance to know any information about the case.”

Cantrell went on to say that Washburn is careful, deliberate and thorough when dealing with these cases.

Jamie Olsen, the director of counseling services, encouraged victims to report or come in for help. Counseling services works with the Center for Safety and Empowerment to help victims get through difficult times. Counseling is also working to promote healthy relationships and self-esteem through workshops. The first will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21.

“We don’t want it to be complicated, just pick up the phone and we will help,” Cantrell said.

For any help or questions contact Counseling Resources at 785-670