The Wellness Resource Center, along with Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team, has been searching for a new on-campus SARC, shorthand for Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. This past week, three candidates for the position were invited to campus to deliver 30-minute presentations on sexual and relational health that, if selected, each candidate could give at New Student Orientation for incoming freshmen.
The search comes after the resignation of Maria Mendez, former SARC, at the beginning of the year. Co-Chair of the SARC search and interim SARC Heather Horton is optimistic. “We did eight Skype interviews, and all of the candidates were really strong there,” she said. “For me as the hiring manager, [the presentations] gave me a lot to look at … they gave me a sense of what [the candidates] saw as priorities to talk about with new students… One of the things that’s interesting about the SARC position is that, on some campuses, that role would just be the advocacy piece, it wouldn’t be also doing the outreach and education, like at a big school. I think it’s really important for the person to be out there doing things with people, get people a chance to see, hey, this person is approachable, and that typically is the reason that people chose to come meet with the person, is that they seem trustworthy and knowledgeable.”
START and search committee member Miguel Mendez shares Horton’s optimism. Mendez, who was contacted by Horton about getting involved with the search, said that by the time he joined the committee, eight candidates had already been selected for Skype interviews. “I was involved with the START meetings when the candidates were meeting with START and SOSS, and I was part of the questioning for the interviews on campus,” said Mendez. “It’s good that the school is involving students in this search.”
Both Horton and Mendez noted the committee’s goal to select a candidate in a timely manner. “We should have someone selected by January,” said Horton. “In the meantime, I’m here working as the SARC if anyone needs me.”