Exit Site

Collaborating with Colleges: Part 2

By Aubrey Sampson

Welcome to the Rural Realities Blog! Last week, we highlighted key points that teams should be aware of when collaborating with colleges and universities. If you have not had the chance, please read Part 1.

So, where do you start? Smaller campuses may be easier to navigate, but some universities can have 50,000+ students, staff, and faculty. How you build rapport and relationships will depend on your connections and culture, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Do your research! Find dedicated staff, faculty, and student organizations that focus on sexual violence response. Who are the people you can reach out to? What activities have they done in the past? What information is already available for the campus community? Finding the right people to connect with will ensure you make progress in the right direction.
  • Review the campuses most recent Annual Security and Fire Report. This report, required by the Clery Act, will provide a ton of foundational information including reports of violence, how to make a report, and available resources on and off campus. As a reminder, SARTs acknowledge that sexual violence is under-reported. You are likely to see this trend reflected in these annual reports and within campus communities as well.
  • Find your ask. How do you want your campus partners to show up? What will their role be and what is going to be expected from them? Whether it is reaching out to create a referral network to streamline services, formalizing relationship through MOUs, or simply requesting a conversation to identify gaps and needs across your communities, being intentional and poignant will greatly support your connections. This ask can lean on the strengths of including the campus in the SART. For example, collaborating with campuses may create access to low/affordable event spaces for SART activities or could even be used as a meeting space.
  • Attend events! Is there an event you can attend to meet your potential collaborators? Find some way to invest in them so they know you genuinely want to connect and collaborate.

Once connected to your local campus(es) there are infinite amount of opportunities for you to coordinate. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic further, please email us at svji@mncasa.org.

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-04024-RURA awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.