In recognition of ongoing efforts to reduce sexual misconduct and harassment on its campus, Centre College has been named one of five recipients of this year’s Impact Award for Excellence in Sexual Assault Prevention.
The award will be given June 11 during the Campus Prevention Network Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. Sponsored by EVERFI, a leading education technology educator, this year’s three-day summit features keynote speakers Anita Hill and Tara Westover, author of the bestselling book Educated: A Memoir.
Finalists for the award were selected on the basis of “Advanced” ratings they received on a Sexual Assault Diagnostic Inventory (SADI) administered by EVERFI, according to Holly Rider-Milkovich, senior director of prevention education.
The SADI is a comprehensive, 80-item assessment of an institution’s sexual assault prevention efforts, meant to serve as an independent roadmap to guide progress in sexual assault prevention at higher education institutions. Participating schools across the nation are designated as Emerging, Developing, Proficient or Advanced in each of the three categories covered in the SADI: programming, critical processes and institutionalization.
Fewer than 10 percent of schools and colleges completing the SADI have attained the Advanced rating.
Rider-Milkovich said that the diagnostic results indicated “the outstanding work being done at Centre College.” Subsequent interviews with a number of finalists, she added, “provided an even richer picture” of Centre’s efforts.
Kay Drake, who serves as Centre’s vice president for human resources and administrative services as well as the College’s Title IX coordinator, said there are many people to thank.
While she starts with the Title IX Team, she is quick to acknowledge the College’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Committee, chaired by Ben Nelson, Centre’s human resources generalist and training coordinator; the tireless efforts of members of the Students for Prevention, Education and Advocacy in the Community (SPEAC); and Centre’s many Green Dot bystander intervention facilitators.
Most important, however, Drake insists that the award represents a collective effort and campuswide commitment to “creating a culture of caring,” the title of Centre’s January 2019 comprehensive report that analyzes data from its most recent climate survey.
“President Roush has made clear to the campus community that change will not happen overnight, because it requires making serious adjustments to prevailing cultural views and values,” Drake said. “The Impact Award acknowledges that we are working together in a positive way,” she added, “building a firm foundation to continue moving forward.”
A key component of the comprehensive report is an action plan to focus Centre’s energy.
Sarah Cramer, an alumna who returned to Centre in October 2018 as the College’s sexual assault prevention and education manager, has played an integral role in implementing a campus action plan and recently helped compile a list of accomplishments over the past year (available here).
Part of her own success over the spring semester, Cramer said, has come from the assistance of Eden Gebeyehu, a senior Posse Scholar and anthropology/sociology major serving as Centre’s first-ever Title IX intern.
Upon returning to campus in January after spending the fall term in Shanghai for the Centre-in-China program, Gebeyehu took a CentreTerm course on “Sexual Violence on College Campuses” taught by Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jamie Shenton. This inspired Gebeyehu to pursue the internship, which was facilitated by the College’s Center for Career & Professional Development.
Over the last semester, Cramer said that Gebeyehu has undertaken a number of important projects. These include coordinating healthy relationship information and education programming; staffing the It’s On Us program that provides alcohol, bystander intervention and consent training for all new Greek members; updating the Title IX presence on Centrenet; promoting International Women’s Day; and advertising for the Ampersand drop-in counseling space.
Given her participation in frontline efforts to strengthen prevention, Gebeyehu said that she’s pleased with the amount of progress she’s seen during her four years at Centre, all of which, she said, “gives her hope.”
Gebeyehu credits a number of things for this success.
“Good hires is one of them,” she observed, “along with the increased visibility of College staff, particularly the senior administration, which helps build trust.”
Complete information about the Campus Prevention Network summit is available here.
For more information about the “Create a Culture of Caring” comprehensive report and action plan, click here. A complete list of recent action plan accomplishments during the 2018-2019 academic year can be found here.
by Michael Strysick
May 13, 2019