The Sexual Assault Resource Centre moves to a new, comfortable-yet-private location
The Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) opened the doors to its new office in the Hall building on Feb. 10, welcoming students to a more open and accessible space.
SARC is a Concordia service which offers support to students, faculty and staff who have been impacted by sexual harassment or assault.
The centre is now located in H-645 in the Hall building on the downtown campus. It was previously located on the third floor of the GM building since SARC’s inception in the fall of 2013.
“I think that moving to the Hall building represents an important step for us in terms of our growth and also in terms of our visibility,” said Jennifer Drummond, the SARC coordinator. “I think the Hall building has greater student traffic.”
Drummond said the new SARC office is still in a private area. “Students coming to access our services will still have that privacy and confidentiality,” said Drummond.
The new office is not only larger, but it has a reception area for students waiting to attend an appointment.
“I think a reception is really important because it not only provides support to the volunteers at the drop-in, but also, to me, it provides a safe landing spot for someone when they first show up to SARC,” said Drummond. “Especially if they’re a bit nervous, it gives them a private area to wait and relax before deciding whether or not they want to go into the drop-in [centre].”
Drummond’s previous office was located in a small room off of a hallway in the GM building. Drummond said if she was in a meeting and her door was closed, it may have felt unwelcoming for someone who had had difficulty coming to SARC in the first place.
“Coming up against a closed door can be really upsetting, especially if you’re already having a hard time getting there in the first place,” said Drummond. “You work up this courage and you get to the door and the door is closed—that can be detrimental to someone’s recovery and process in getting help, and they may never come back.”
In terms of SARC becoming more prevalent on campus, Drummond said moving the office to a more evident spot on campus was an important step.
“We are holding a big event on March 2. It’s in collaboration with the Atwater Library and Computer Centre and their project about eliminating cyber violence against women and young girls,” said Drummond. “We are collaborating with them to do an event about responding to and preventing cyber violence, and that can include gender-based cyber violence, online harassment or abuse of a sexual nature.”
“We’re going to continue to have events like that each semester,” said Drummond.
SARC is open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment or for any other inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 514-848-2424 ext. 3461 to reach the drop-in centre.