Written by program assistant Cat Guzman 10F
Here at New Student Programs, we think it’s especially important for all newcomers to be in the loop about the variety of essential resources on campus that revolve around all kinds of issues, both fun and serious. At Hampshire, sexual offenses are taken extremely seriously and the college does its best to ensure that people are provided with all the necessary resources they might need. While help can be found through a variety of people such as interns and house directors, it’s crucial for students to know that we have a Sexual Offenses Counselor on campus.
I communicated with Brittanie to talk about her position and its significance to students on campus, and she started off by telling me that a student should contact her if “they think that a sexual offense has occurred and want to know what to do about it either personally or on behalf of someone else, or want to just talk it out with someone.” Additionally, students can contact Brittanie if they simply want to know more about Hampshire College’s Sexual Offense Policy.
On the question of the most important piece of her role as Sexual Offenses Counselor, she stressed the significance of her job “to listen and support survivors in any (if any) course of action they choose to pursue,” and expressed the most effective part of her position to be the confidentiality of her role.
She understands and respects the fact that new students at Hampshire are coming from all different places with different experiences and perspectives, so she strongly recommends that all students, “no matter how they identify, no matter what their identities are, should make sure that they understand the definition of consent and Hampshire’s Policy about both consent and sexual offenses” which can be found on pages 99-104 of the Community Standards section of Non Satis Non Scire, Hampshire College’s Student Handbook.
You can find it here: http://www.hampshire.edu/shared_files/community-standards.pdf
Brittanie highlighted the fact that “there is no prototype of a survivor or perpetrator,” and made sure to note that regarding consent, “a student cannot be held responsible for not giving consent but they can be held responsible for not getting consent. If you do not have explicit verbal consent in the affirmative from your partner OR you are unsure about their consent, ASK QUESTIONS. If it’s still unclear or you have any doubts whatsoever, DO NOT PROCEED.” And of course, if you (or anyone you know) think you that might have experienced a sexual offense, do not hesitate to reach out to her.
There is so much to be discussed about the topic of sexual offenses as it is a serious issue on college campuses everywhere, so I’ll add a couple of more things that Brittanie made sure I mention in this post:
- Rape is not the only sexual offense covered in Hampshire’s Policy. Many students think that this is the only offense for which they could pursue an investigation or seek help, but various other offenses are considered unacceptable and worthy of sanctions by Hampshire College.
- For sexual offenses, the only confidential resources are Brittanie Tarczynski (x5743 line 2), ordained clergy, including the Director of Spiritual Life, Liza Neal and Coordinator for Religious Identity & Political Intersections, Rachel Schoenfield (x5282), and Health and Counseling Services (x5458). We also have a 24 Hour Sexual Offense Crisis Line for Hampshire College only that is confidential (x5527). House interns, house directors and everyone else (including new student programs staff) ARE NOT confidential resources, but mandated reporters of sensitive information on campus. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them or that they cannot be helpful; it just means that they can be private but not confidential.
- Brittanie will not pressure anyone into taking any particular course of action following a sexual offense—she is there to assist in providing emotional support and an explanations of options both on and off campus for the individuals who seek her help.
You can find Brittanie in the Wellness Center in Enfield on the 2nd floor, on Mondays and Fridays from 2-9 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:30-9 p.m. She encourages anyone wishing to speak with her to schedule an appointment at 413-559-5743, line 2. More information is also available on the sexual offense services website.
This kind of issue can impact anyone on a college campus, and we hope this post was informative! Have any questions or concerns? As always, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!