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Privileged Campus Advocate comes to EOU

Privileged Campus Advocate to join EOU campus in 2018

Colleen Dunne-Cascio and Mindy Mowery

Colleen Dunne-Cascio and Mindy Mowery worked together to apply for grant funding that will bring a Privileged Campus Advocate to EOU.

May 17, 2018 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  Eastern Oregon University secured funding from the Oregon Department of Justice Victims of Crime Act through collaboration with local advocacy agency Shelter From the Storm.

Colleen Dunne-Cascio, Title IX Coordinator at EOU, worked hand-in-hand with the non-profit to access funding from the Oregon Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division. The grant provided more than $200,000 to foster an inviting and supportive university culture that exemplifies EOU’s values and principles.

EOU has partnered with Shelter From the Storm to hire a confidential, privileged advocate on campus for students and staff. Those who have been impacted by abuse can connect with the Privileged Campus Advocate and learn about services and options without the fear of mandatory reporting or investigation.

EOU joins many college campuses across Oregon that have already initiated or will be initiating this program to close gaps and remove barriers to services, which became effective April 1 and ends September 30, 2020.

“We are already assessing additional funding models to continue providing these services beyond that date,” Dunne-Cascio said.

The grant requires applicant institutions to partner with a victim services provider that has a history of effective work concerning domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. After a couple years of discussing this exact opportunity, Dunne-Cascio said she was excited to collaborate with Shelter From the Storm.

The Privileged Campus Advocate (PCA) will be a Shelter From the Storm employee housed on campus. The PCA will be a resource for students and staff to access without involving the Title IX Coordinator, who is required to report incidents and pursue investigations to their resolution.

“This position is intended to close the gap of reporting to any employee of EOU, who are considered ‘Responsible Employees’ and must report to the Title IX Coordinator,” said Shelter From the Storm Executive Director Mindy Mowery. “Students and staff will have access to all the resources SFS currently provides, including safety planning, emotional support, emergency shelter, information and referrals, assistance with protective orders, escort to court or law enforcement interviews, transportation, gas vouchers, food boxes, clothing, legal representation, art therapy, 24-hour hotline and transitional housing.”

Mowery and Dunne-Cascio have continued to collaborate while interviewing candidates for the position this month. The planning phase will begin in June and continue through August. They plan to have the program implemented and available at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

“This process has allowed us to formally start our partnership and it is off to a great start,” Mowery said.