Help is On the Way! — Local Sexual Assault Advocate Program nears Fruition

Albion College is just weeks away from beginning the training process of educating volunteer students and employees to be Local Sexual Assault Advocates (LSAAs).

Dr. Sally Walker, vice president for Student Affairs, is working directly alongside Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County, and Bronson Battle Creek (SAS) to create an advocacy program for those who are willing to volunteer their time, and energy, for the health and safety of others on campus.

“[SAS] has agreed to sponsor a local program so that College faculty, staff and students may volunteer to be first responders exclusively to College, on-campus constituents,” Walker said.  “Such volunteers will be referred to as Local Sexual Assault Advocates (LSAAs).  The LSAAs will increase the number of people on campus who may act as confidential resources.”

Over the past semester and a half, Walker has been working with a faculty member and a student, in addition to a representative from SAS, on organizational related matters.  Walker plans on having a meeting with all of those who are interested — shortly after the return from spring break — in which the representative from SAS will be present.

Approximately twenty people showed interest in the two informational sessions that took place last fall.

The only prerequisites for the LSAA Program are that volunteers must be currently enrolled or working at Albion College, and not a graduating senior.  Walker encourages that those who are graduating this spring contact local agencies and explore the volunteer options available at their new locations.

Because no students or employees on campus are yet certified as LSAAs, and for the legal obligations of contacting an untrained staff or faculty member of campus, Dr. Walker requested that any persons in need assistance continue to contact Counseling Services or Campus Safety.

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