Students have access to many different resources on campus. What are they?
The Justice examined the various student support resources available on campus.
The University has a plethora of resources to offer support to different groups and individuals on campus that were created to ensure that Brandeis community members feel safe and know their rights. These resources include the Student Sexuality Information Service, the Gender and Sexuality Center, 6TALK, Students Talking About Relationships, The Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center, the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
SSIS, a student-run service that advocates for the sexual health of members of the Brandeis community, has trained student-volunteer counselors who confidentially advise their peers about issues regarding sex and sexuality. An extensive library of books about sexuality is available to students for both academic and personal use. According to the SSIS website, they also sell sex and sexual health products such as contraceptives, pregnancy tests, sex toys and alternative menstruation products. SSIS is located on the third floor of the Shapiro Campus Center.
STAR offers peer counseling on a plethora of topics and experiences that individuals at the University face. Like other peer counseling programs at the University, the counselors at STAR are all professionally trained on topics such as both domestic and dating violence, rape, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, LGBTQ+ topics, mental health, suicide and self-harm. STAR’s office is located on the third floor of the SCC.
6TALK is the University’s late-night confidential and anonymous rape and counseling hotline, comprised of students who have undergone training and testing to make sure they are prepared to take on the responsibility of peer counseling. Students can call 6TALK if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts or relationship trouble, if they need academic support, if they want advice about how to help other students or if they want help with other issues they may be facing.
PARC gives support related to sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence. The center’s goal is to contribute to conversations about consent, healthy relationships and anti-violence, and supports this effort by hosting events about promoting healthy relationships and dealing with stress. The organization also seeks to educate the Brandeis community on how to be an upstander — positively intervening in negative situations — by supporting friends and having open and honest communication involving consent. Executive board members of campus clubs are required by PARC to take part in bystander training. The center has two full-time staff members that can help with more in-depth support, and they host trainings and workshops for the Brandeis community. Its office is located on the ground floor of the Winer building in the Usdan Student Center.
The ODEI is an umbrella organization which includes a network of offices to help support the Brandeis community such as The Reporting Office, the Intercultural Center, the OEO, the GSC and the University Ombuds. The ODEI’s office is located on the first floor of the Gryzmish Center.
The OEO, an organization under the ODEI that includes the Title IX office, helps the University regarding laws surrounding sexual harassment, misconduct and discrimination. These laws include Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act Section 504. Title VI states that no person will be excluded from participating in any program that is federally funded based on race, color or national origin, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title IX states that no person shall be excluded from any federally funded program or activity, be the subject of discrimination or denied benefits regarding education based on their sex. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits any discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace, public life, school and transportation. The Rehabilitation Act Section 504 prohibits prejudice against people with disabilities in programs that receive money from the federal government. The OEO handles the legal aspects of misconduct on campus. Through this office, a person can file a report on issues with harassment or misconduct.
The GSC offers support to the Brandeis LBGTQ+ community and helps promote an inclusive campus. The center hosts events to promote awareness of LGBTQ+-related topics and to help support LGBTQ+ community members.
“The GSC is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to come hang out with friends, do work or even take a nap. We have weekly movie nights where we show queer movies as well as other events throughout the semester. We also have a rack of clothes that people are welcome to come in and try on,” GSC employee Sammi Cohen ’22 said in a Nov. 14 interview with the Justice.
The rack of clothes offers students a way to express themselves who do not have the means to do so with their own clothing. They have a chance to come in and trade what they have for different articles of clothing that fit more with their gender expression. The GSC was created in 2014 and operates under the ODEI. It is located in the Winer Building in the Usdan Student Center.