Women’s Center connects students with resources, provides programming

Published by adviser, Author: Daniel DiFabio - Rocket Contributor , Date: February 11, 2016
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The Women’s Center located on campus hosts outreach programs on social issues and provides services to SRU students.

Jodiann Solito, Director of the Women’s Center and Pride Center, said that the center does a lot of outreach programming for issues that affect women and men alike.

“All year long we try to bring up things that women contributed to society that maybe weren’t taught in history classes,” Solito said.

The Women’s Center is also bringing light to women who aren’t as well-known during black history month.

“There’s a lot of contributions made by folks, but we have a tendency to always focus on the same ones that people already heard about,” Solito said.

Solito said that The Women’s Center isn’t only for women, as they host “Men’s Monday” once a month, where a topic about masculinity is discussed.

Once a month, the center also hosts “Candid and Controversial” discussion where an event going on in the news is discussed. Both sides are presented and then a dialogue takes place with those in attendance. February’s conversation focused on Black Lives Matter.

The Women’s Center also is a confidential reporting site, where students who have been involved with interpersonal, dating, domestic or sexual violence can talk about what happened without the information being shared. Students can email or show up to the center in person.

“My role is to connect [students] to whatever kind of services that are available on or off campus,” Solito said. “I try to get them to talk with someone.”

The Women’s Center has numerous relationships with agencies that help students in various ways, with one being an agency in Butler county called Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe). The center works with VOICe by having a worker meet with students and make the necessary arrangements to help the students with their problems.

The center may also refer a student to Student Intervention Services, where students can receive additional help.

Karla Fonner, assistant director and senior case manager for retention services, said that Student Intervention Services helps students access resources on and off campus.

“We can also help students set goals, build or strengthen support systems and provide tools that may be helpful in navigating university policies and processes,” Fonner said.

Fonner said that in cases of sexual assault, dating violence or harassment, Student Intervention Services can work with academic and residence departments to arrange changes in courses, schedule or living arrangements. Students can visit the office or go online to find help.

Fonner said anyone who is working with a student that they feel could use extra support can also complete an online referral form where she can then decide what the next best steps would be.

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