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Partnering to help students

By Carrie Goss, SOS/ESU Sexual Assault Victim Advocate

Each fall thousands of students make Emporia their new home for a few years. There’s a reason they choose Emporia. Whether it be the great university they are about to attend or the beautiful sights of the surrounding Flint Hills, they choose Emporia.

A college campus can be a community all on its own. The culture and atmosphere are just different. When something happens in Emporia, whether good or bad, the community is there to support its residents. The same should be true of all communities, including the Emporia State University (ESU) community.

SOS advocates are available for all victims in our community, including our ESU community. Whether it be a current or past situation, SOS is partnering with ESU 24/7 to help keep students safe. SOS works closely with ESU counselors at the Student Wellness Center in Morse Hall. If a student needs SOS services, they can call our helpline or have an ESU counselor get in touch with an SOS advocate to come to campus. SOS advocates also provide a weekly support group for victims and survivors of sexual assault whether they were assault.

SOS and ESU partner for many campus activities. Advocates use booths in the Memorial Union to bring awareness of sexual assault or to promote related activities. During the month of April, advocates will promote awareness of sexual assault for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and is hosting “Take Back the Night” in honor of sexual assault victims and survivors. This year’s event included campus march to raise awareness.

It is important for any community to have people willing to help others. ESU also has a student organization, SAFE (SOS Advocacy From ESU). Members of SAFE provide awareness of SOS services and sexual and domestic violence on campus. They also help with fundraisers and are a great source for volunteers. Other helpers include many of the fraternities and sororities that work hard to put on great fundraisers for SOS.

Everyone should have a safe place to go for support in their community and SOS is there for the people in all their communities.