Different departments on campus aid students in relieving stressors and filing complaints and reports. However, the run-around to find the right person to talk with or the right department can be a daunting task.
The Campus Community Response Team (CCRT) is working to relieve that stressor.
The CCRT is a group of administrators and students from different departments that focus on gathering information and recommending improvements across campus, including policy, procedure, awareness, accommodations, communication or research into gender-based violence. The group will work to implement preventative measures and response interventions that are collaborative and inclusive.
The university has policies and procedures to address issues, but the preventative measures for these issues could be improved, according to Kyrsti Wyatt, the assistant dean of students.
“We met with students to hear what student experiences have been on campus, having experienced violence, and then [seeing if]maybe they did or did not go through any university process,” Wyatt said. “If they didn’t, why not? What do they wish they had known prior to their experience? So we did a little bit of soul searching and digging.”
During its first year, CRT had a core group of four administrators who worked to understand student needs and what resources needed to be created for preventative measures. Last year, CCRT officially formed their team and now includes departments and students from all over campus.
The team now includes housing, security, the Women and Children’s Alliance, Boise Police Department, faculty, the Gender Equity Center (GEC), the Office of the Dean of Students, Institutional Compliance and Ethics Campus Operations, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and involvement from students themselves.
“What does everyone at the table need to know?” Wyatt said. “It’s such a small area of practice of everyday practice that, while a lot of people at the University have impacts in this area, they don’t even realize they do. Or they do but they don’t know all the other moving pieces of gender-based violence and how the university approaches it.”
At the beginning of every freshman’s career at Boise State, they are required to take an online prevention and awareness workshop regarding sexual assault and alcohol education. During her freshman year, Nataša Copic, a sophomore nursing major, reflected on what she learned while taking the online workshops.
“I think a lot of times students don’t want to think about things that are tough like that, and it kind of forces you to think about that from your own perspective and not put it aside,” Copic said. “A lot of people will do that if they don’t have some type of workshop like that that they need to do.”
Dehra McFaddan is the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) Secretary of Academic Affairs and has taken a claim in CCRT to understand what can be done to help students. During her time as an undergraduate student, McFaddan worked for the GEC and began working on a presentation regarding stalking on campus and gender-based violence.
Regarding the areas that were lacking studies, McFaddan passed the information along to other members at the GEC.
“A lot of other universities have teams like this that are similar in structure and there are grants you can actually apply for to help with any research and different things,” McFaddan said. “I know that’s kind of what the plan is, is to continue studying especially in the gap areas that we have, so like stalking is one at Boise State.”
The GEC’s main focus on a day-to-day basis is providing direct service and education to students. Currently, they are working on applying for a grant that will provide a new staff position to focus on enhancing community partnerships and providing education and awareness to all students through a variety of programmatic efforts, according to Wyatt.
“You can say that gender-based violence rates aren’t rising on campus and I would challenge that by saying I think it is, it’s just not being as reported,” McFaddan said. “Which is also okay. Survivors need to do what they have to do to make it through. So I think that by having this team, we’re really trying hard to figure out how can we make this easier for everyone.”