Resolving Your Concerns

Abri Wilson / Staff Illustrator

In light of the Harvey Weinstein trials, learn what you can do if you feel unsafe on Campus

Films such as Scream, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, and Shakespeare in Love are just a few of the movies that represent the filmworks of an Academy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award winner that was once seen as Hollywood’s most powerful film producer.

Seeing Harvey Weinstein now, one wouldn’t guess they were looking at the person who once represented the kind of fame and success all producers strived to reach. However, since October of 2017, more than eighty women have made allegations of sexual abuse from Harvey Weinstein. 

Soon, he will be facing five felony charges in court. A court date that was once set for early September of 2018 has now been moved to January 2020, as a result of a new emerging indictment from actress Annabella Sciorra. 

In light of these sexual abuse allegations, new movements such as #MeToo have emerged, encouraging women to speak out against their abusers.  The emergence of #MeToo shows just how many people from all different kinds of  communities suffer from abuse. In places such as school and work, women may be in unsafe situations where they are unsure of who to go to for help.

Fortunately, Pierce College offers many resources in helping people who feel uncomfortable in school, the workplace, and at home. Holly Gorski, District Coordinator for Title IX and Vice President for Human Resources, is an important contact in supporting students who need help on campus. 

Title IX was created to ensure that nobody feels discriminated against, taken advantage of, or left out based on their gender. Gorski said, “We are really here to be supportive and help students who have these concerns that fall under the big umbrella of Title IX.” 

“I want to encourage people to resolve issues at the lowest level. If you feel like you can talk to someone about something that is happening, please do that, I think that can be really effective.” 

Of course, it also depends on the situation. If you’re trying to resolve an issue yourself when  communication isn’t an option, there is plenty of help and support offered through different resources at Pierce.

One place that may not be known to many students is pierce.ctc.edu/complaint-process. This site offers a place for students to go if they have any kind of issue on campus they wish to report, but aren’t sure where to go for help. “We are connecting students with resources, trying to get them to the places they need,” as Gorski said.

A report of concern can be in regards to themselves or a friend. This can be accessibility accommodations, a student conduct violation, an accident, or just a general complaint that doesn’t seem to fit into any of these specific categories. 

In addition, by searching “Pierce College Get Help” [pierce.ctc.edu/help], individuals are offered a complete page of resources offered to students looking for assistance in places such as food, transportation, health, legal support, transportation, and more. This can serve in providing help and support to someone who needs it, but doesn’t know where to look.

Allison Stewart, a student at Pierce College, said, “The first step in helping people on campus is to advertise that they actually have programs.” Stewart pointed out that she has never seen anything advertised regarding student support on campus. More effective support can be given if these resources are further publicized to the general school population.

While students are able to report a concern anonymously, the most fulfilling assistance can be given in cases with the most information provided. “Sometimes students come to me with concerns and they don’t want the college to do anything or they don’t want the college to use their name, and I provide support to those students,” said Gorski. “But if I have someone telling me not to do anything, then whatever help I can provide to help resolve the situation is really limited.”

It is understandable that giving school officials details of a sensitive situation could make a student nervous, but staff members can aid students and connect them with more help if they get all the information they need.

Jasmine Ford, a student at Pierce, said that one method that might help offer help to individuals is to have an anonymous hotline available. While Pierce doesn’t have it’s own emergency line to call, there are plenty of numbers in the Pierce County area that are available 7 days a week. Many of these are listed on Pierce College’s ‘Crisis Resource Page.’ [pierce.ctc.edu/counseling-crisis-situation]

Many of these resources at schools have become more prominent as a result of the #MeToo movement following the Harvey Weinstein trials. Stewart said, “It creates a forum for people to say ‘I believe you’ and ‘This happened to me too’ and makes you feel like you’re a part of something.”