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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Oasis prevention services moves to Women’s Resource Center

Alex McIntyre
Jacquelyn Hinek, a senior studying psychology, writes in a notebook in the Women’s Resource Center in the Student Union Memorial Center on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. Hinek is the co-director of Students Promoting Empowerment And Consent.

The Oasis Program recently moved to the Women’s Resource Center, signifying the UA administration’s push for increasing awareness about sexual assault.

Krista Millay, program director for the WRC, said the Oasis Sexual Violence Prevention Program officially moved to the WRC on July 1. The counseling program within OASIS will remain at Campus Health Service, where it has always been, Millay said.

According to Oasis’ brochure and website, the organization is a program associated with Campus Health and the WRC that advocates against sexual assault and relationship violence through an array of services, such as counseling and prevention education.

This structural change was orchestrated by Dean of Students Kendal Washington White, Millay said, to ensure that sexual assault is getting more attention at the UA.

“The dean of students is so committed and passionate on bringing awareness to sexual assault issues,” Millay said.

Millay said she hopes that with the prevention aspect of Oasis now being located in the Student Union Memorial Center, there will be more collaboration with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, which is also located in the SUMC.

Prior to Monday, there was not a counselor trained specifically in sexual assault prevention, but Millay said that one had just been hired on Monday. Glenn Matchett-Morris, associate director of Counseling and Psych Services for Campus Health, confirmed that a counselor specifically trained to handle sexual assault cases for Oasis was recently hired on Monday. The counselor, Minnie Almader, started working on Tuesday, Matchett-Morris said.

Another notable facet of the structural change within Oasis is its student-led internship called Students Promoting Empowerment and Consent. SPEAC is now located at the WRC office, where the interns can share the programming space with other WRC internships such as The Men’s Project and Feminists Organized to Resist, Create, Change and Empower.

SPEAC student directors Jacqueline Chau, public health senior, and Jacquelyn Hinek, psychology senior, explained how this move to the WRC is beneficial for SPEAC and UA students.

“Now that the preventative side [of Oasis] is in the Women’s Resource Center, we now have an open and collaborative space where anyone can come in,” Chau said.

When Oasis was only at Campus Health Service, SPEAC didn’t have that physical space, Chau explained.

“Now,… we’re able to say, ‘Yes, you can come to the Women’s Resource Center!’” Chau said.

Chau also explained that being a part of the WRC will allow SPEAC to expand its presence on campus.

“Being here, we definitely have a greater presence on campus, and it’s definitely a greater collaborative effort that we can utilize to give our resources out to students,” Chau said.

While Chau and Hinek expressed their excitement about Oasis moving to the WRC, they said they were not sure what prompted the change.

Hinek said another change within Oasis this academic school year is the absence of former violence prevention specialist Megan McKendry, who was trained to be an advocate against sexual assault. Oasis is still looking to fill that position. Chau said the title of McKendry’s former position has also changed to coordinator of the Oasis program. While they continue the search to fill that position, Millay will be overseeing SPEAC, Hinek said.

“I think that’s really been so wonderful for her to take us on while they’re looking to fill Megan’s position,” Hinek said.

Chau added that Millay has experience with social justice issues as the director of the WRC and is helping SPEAC transition into the WRC.

Millay commended McKendry’s work and advocacy with Oasis and explained the difficulty with filling her position.

“It will be hard to replace Megan, because she did amazing work and she’s a really talented and passionate person,” Millay said.

Millay put the structural change of Oasis within the context of national awareness about campus sexual assault and prevention.

“I think it’s a really exciting transition and gives us an opportunity to give more focus and attention to the issues of sexual assault and violence prevention,” she said. “This is a really exciting time in history to do that, because there’s so much national attention on college campuses.”

Follow Meghan Fernandez on Twitter.

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