From Harford Community College:
Dr. Dennis Golladay, President of Harford Community College, and Luisa Caiazzo, CEO, Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center, Inc. (SARC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on December 10 in the Chesapeake Center Board Room on the HCC campus. The purpose of the partnership is to provide easily accessible domestic violence and sexual assault educational, preventive, and victim support services to the HCC community.
SARC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental local comprehensive victim services agency for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The College has had a strong working relationship with SARC for many years.
Dr. Deborah Cruise, Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, welcomed the group. Dr. Golladay opened the ceremony, stating, “The College simply will not tolerate sexual misconduct on our campus. We are committed to preventing incidents of domestic violence and helping its victims. The signing of the MOU formalizes the existing relationship between Harford Community College and SARC in providing support services to members of the College community.” Ms. Caizzo thanked him for making the collaboration a priority for the College and noted Dr. Cruise’s role on the SARC Board of Directors, citing her leadership in initiating the partnership.
As part of the agreement with the College, SARC will appoint a contact person to communicate and collaborate regarding SARC services. The agency will make literature available to HCC students regarding SARC services, domestic violence, and sexual assault to increase student and faculty awareness. SARC services will be provided without any cost to HCC, students, or employees.
“SARC and Harford Community College have enjoyed a long partnership focused on raising awareness about the issues of domestic and sexual violence. We are pleased to formalize this relationship and applaud HCC’s commitment to ensuring student safety,” stated Ms. Caiazzo.
Per the agreement, Harford Community College will refer students and employees who have experienced past or present sexual assault or domestic violence to SARC by providing service and contact information. In addition, HCC will regularly provide to its students and employees educational and preventive information and workshops related to sexual assault and domestic violence and will involve SARC staff and resources as appropriate. HCC will also be responsible for any state or federally mandated reports that use data provided under the program.
One in five students experience rape or sexual assault while they are in college, and in the vast majority of cases, know their attacker. Recognizing that fewer than five percent of rapes and attempted rapes of college students are reported to campus authorities or law enforcement, this MOU formalizes both organizations’ commitment to work together to find solutions to keep students safe and provide access to support services when needed.
HB571, which passed both houses and was signed by Gov. Hogan on May 12, 2015, requires colleges to “pursue formalized agreements with [local law enforcement agency] and a state designated rape crisis program, federally recognized sexual assault coalition, or both that formalizes a commitment to provide trauma-informed services to victims of sexual assault and improve the overall response to sexual assault by the institution of higher education.”