A new student organization is gaining momentum on Samford’s campus in response to sexual harassment.
Students Against Sexual Harassment is a student led organization that promotes awareness and activism to foster a healthier campus community. Though they are not a trauma-based support group, the group plans to provide a safe space to facilitate discussions about sexual harassment.
Chloe Pappa, president of SASH, founded the organization early this year after what she perceived to be a gap in resources for students encountering inappropriate behavior.
“It came from my own experiences freshman year dealing with sexual harassment with someone on campus, and how there weren’t that many resources,” Pappa said.
Many of the members that originally expressed interest in the founding of SASH graduated before it could become a reality.
“It’s been such a tough process to get it enacted on campus,” Pappa said.
The organization currently has 20 active members from various degree programs. Though SASH can only hold virtual meetings because of its provisional status, Pappa is hopeful that the group will be allowed to hold in-person events after they become an official organization this fall.
Any student who is interested may join while the organization is provisional, but after it becomes an official organization, members will be required to attend at least two meetings to maintain their status.
Pappa has some worries SASH may be met with backlash but is hopeful that in time it will grow to become a vital part of the Samford community.
“There needs to be something where we can try to have a say in it,” Pappa said.
Pappa also hopes that students of all backgrounds will feel welcome to join SASH.
“No one has to have their own story to join SASH,” Pappa said. “I hope everyone feels included and that they have a say and they have a voice.”
SASH will be holding an interest meeting this semester to allow students an opportunity to learn more about the organization and its mission.
Samford also offers some resources for students.
“Samford resources I recommend would be Samford CARE Team and the Counseling Center, as they are not mandatory reporters, so it can remain confidential,” Pappa said.
For students seeking counseling and treatment, the Office of Counseling Services & Wellness Programs is located in DBH 203. The office can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-726-4083. If you are someone you know is in crisis of rape or sexual assault, the local 24/7 Crisis Center Rape Response Line is 205-323-7273.