A representative from the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County in Ithaca met with the Ithaca College Student Governance Council on Sept. 23 to discuss the services that the center offers to help students impacted by sexual and relationship violence.
Lara Hamburger is a campus educator from the Advocacy Center, an organization committed to supporting, educating and advocating for survivors who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. Hamburger meets with student government groups to create initiatives that have the input of students. She also works with Title IX coordinators on the college’s campus. The advocacy group holds office hours on the college’s campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday in Muller Chapel. There is also a support group from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Thursday in Muller Chapel for those impacted by sexual and relationship violence.
Hamburger said the services provided by the Advocacy Center are open to help everyone no matter their race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Our organization serves people impacted by sexual and relationship violence, and we serve people no matter when they were impacted,” Hamburger said.
Hamburger also said the center offers a 24-hour crisis hotline run by certified rape crisis counselors. It is free to use by anyone who personally needs it or by people who want to speak about a situation that a friend is in and need support. The 24-hour call service number is 607-277-5000.
“We hold confidentiality to a really high standard in our organization, so we never share with the campus that anyone has reached out to us,” she said. “We don’t call the police.”
Hamburger provided posters for the SGC that have information about the Advocacy Center’s location and meeting times for group therapy provided on campus. Junior Connor Shea, vice president of campus affairs, said he has many ideas for how the SGC can work with the Advocacy Center to promote it on campus.
“Personally, I find that this is very mandatory for us to take action on, and I’m already starting to write down ideas that are fairly feasible for us to at least start something,” Shea said. “These posters, how easy is it for us to go around if everyone takes two just getting them in very common spaces like in dorms. I think getting that on our social and putting that on Intercom is so easy to do and could really help people.”
Senior SGC President Farwa Shakeel said the SGC has plans to work with the Advocacy Center.
“We’re planning on definitely helping them advertise for once, and we’re gonna try to figure out what spaces we can expand to outside of the chapel,” she said.
Also at the meeting, freshman Soumyaa Joshi was confirmed as the senator for the School of Humanities and Sciences. She said she hopes to form one community because there are so many unique majors within the School of Humanities and Sciences.
“I feel that people in humanities and sciences stick with the people within their own major just because that’s their community and people they can relate to,” Joshi said.