Students at Oregon State University have created a club on campus in an effort to help survivors and their allies come together and end cycles of sexual assault.
Students Active For Ending Rape is a club that was started after OSU students noticed that the Survivor Advocacy and Resource Center was cutting services due to COVID-19 constraints.
“[SAFER is] a student club that will be both educational and a community that supports survivors and educates OSU students and staff about healthy consensual relationships and trauma healing,” said SAFER President Brianna Corbett.
According to SAFER Secretary Andrea Haddadin, she wanted a safe and easily accessible space for students.
“I know a lot of people in college when they live [sexual assault]it’s really hard to go to SARC,” SAFER Secretary Andrea Haddadin said.
OSU student and SAFER member Liz Babcock said she wants to increase the education students and staff receive on campus. Babcock said she believes this club will help people learn to be a better defender and ally.
“I know, at least for me and a few other people, it’s a little easier to talk to someone your age, who’s a friend of yours or someone you’ve met who’s been through the same thing. thing than talking to someone you might consider higher because they’re helping you, but it’s more like peer-to-peer conversations,” Babcock said.
According to Corbett, one of the big goals of the club is to make it a safe space for everyone, for all genders, sexualities and races, and for any survivor of sexual assault. The club also wants to create a space for everyone to learn more about sexual assault and rape.
SAFER plans to do this by working with SARC and Student Health Services to work on mandatory sexual assault presentations that are given to fraternities, sororities and freshmen during START week.
Haddadin said SAFER also plans yoga and craft nights, among other relaxing activities.
“We want to look at more trauma-specific services and also bring in different healthcare providers around the club,” Corbett said.
According to Corbett, everyone involved in SAFER is also learning, so while they educate and teach others, they are also open to being educated themselves.
SAFER plans to finance his club in different ways. Nelson van de Lindt, SAFER’s treasurer, said he was trying to secure corporate funding for the club and could be one of the first clubs to do so. He said he intended to work with places like Kaiser Permanente, a medical company.
“[We] correct [want to] see what funding we can actually accept as a club from OSU and then if we can’t accept it from a corporation how we can work with OSU to make it something we can do,” said said Van de Lindt.
Creating SAFER and making it a safe place works when people aren’t nervous about coming to meetings or asking questions, Babcock said.
“We want this community to be a community where students leave the meeting with a sense of friendship and a sense of empowerment,” Corbett said.
Students can find SAFER under the full club name on OSU’s Ideal Logic website or on their Instagram, @osusafer.