Kean Joins ‘Culture of Respect Collective’ to Proactively Address Sexual Violence
Kean University has joined 20 colleges and universities from across North America in the Culture of Respect Collective, a program that takes a proactive approach to addressing sexual violence on college campuses.
The two-year program from NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education helps universities and colleges create policies and programs that prevent sexual violence, communicate that violence is unacceptable and support survivors. Participating institutions are guided through self-assessment and organizational change, with support and technical assistance throughout.
“Kean has one of the safest college campuses in New Jersey, and we are proud of the campus environment that we have built,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “We look forward to completing the Culture of Respect Collective rigorous self-assessment and developing other appropriate plans and actions to redouble our campus safety efforts.”
Tamika Quick, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Kean, said the University is part of the fifth cohort of NASPA’s Culture of Respect Collective and was accepted into the program in February.
“The program is grounded in an expert-developed public health framework, cross-campus collaboration, and peer-led learning to make meaningful programmatic and policy changes,” she said. “Culture of Respect aligns with Kean’s values of building an equitable campus community for and with others.”
To begin, Kean selected four chairpeople and formed a campus leadership team including staff, faculty and students. Student representatives were selected from various colleges and programs, student government, survivors, Greek life members and others.
“It is imperative to have representatives from across our institution on the campus leadership team so that we can think creatively and holistically about how to use our resources effectively,” Quick said.
Graduate student Tibian Hassan ’20, who is studying marriage and family therapy and serving as a graduate assistant in Student Health Services, is a student team member.
“Being involved and especially taking on leadership positions allows me to be able to make the difference I want to see not only at Kean but in my current and future community,” she said.
“I believe it is important to stress that if we see something we should speak up,” Hassan added. “We also should be teaching young men and women how to protect themselves, having conversations about consent, speaking out against all forms of violence, and admitting that it does happen in our communities.”
Kean will take part in a core evaluation and work with Culture of Respect staff to analyze the results and develop an implementation plan. Included will be short-, medium- and long-term goals to strengthen Kean’s efforts and capacity to prevent and respond to campus sexual assault violence.
In addition to Quick, the co-chairs of the initiative at Kean are Kevin Harris, director of the Office of Affirmative Action Programs; Catricia Shaw, managing assistant director of the Office of Affirmative Action Programs; and Nicole Rodriguez, director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct.