Hello readers of The S&B,
Grinnell Advocates here. We wanted to take a minute to update the campus community on what we’ve been up to this semester. For those who might not know, Grinnell Advocates is a group of students trained by our sponsoring organization, Crisis Intervention Services, to provide trauma-informed, confidential support as well as advocacy for peers who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking or any other related issue. Advocates are available through a 24/7 call or text crisis line, by email or in person.
As Advocates, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance our visibility on campus and improve students’ awareness of the services we offer. This year we created three subcommittees within Advocates in hopes of becoming more effective in accomplishing these tasks.
The outreach committee started the semester off strong by meeting with a myriad of other student groups (e.g. the SRC, CBS, SOL, Access and others) to strengthen alliances between these groups and ourselves and to ensure that the leaders were aware of Advocates as a resource. We also hosted a meet-and-greet to get to know peers in a less formal setting and to reach students who are not in one of the student organizations we had the pleasure of meeting with earlier.
Through these meetings, we learned that it is difficult for many people to identify who the Peer Advocates are on campus. We also found that there are many commonly held misconceptions about Advocates. In response to that feedback, our marketing subcommittee created posters with Advocates’ faces on them, and new stickers and buttons to distribute, as well as a series of did-you-know posters that you should keep your eyes peeled for in January.
Our special events team worked hard to provide and support a series of events during intimate partner violence awareness week, including hosting a campus conversation about supporting a friend and tabling for outreach and promoting awareness. They are now planning an event in February related to sexual assault and harassment.
Advocates is looking forward to continuing our outreach efforts to improve accessibility and awareness of the services we provide to the campus community. If you have any feedback or if you want to meet with us, hold an event with us, etc., please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [advocates]. Have a great last few weeks of the semester, and stay warm!