Returning to campus IRL also means returning to New York City. That means SVA Student Health and Counseling Services, the Title IX Office and SVA Security are here to help with tips for staying safe. “Everyone should know that there are options and resources for support and reporting,” says Title IX Coordinator Laurel Christy. “Every person has the skills to make a difference in helping to support a safer community.”
Here are a few tips to keep in mind this semester and beyond:
- Your cellphone is a tool: Share your location with friends and family when using ride-sharing apps, public transit or when you’re out for a walk to let others know you’ve arrived safely to your destination.
- Don’t worry about being perceived as “rude.” If someone approaches you—at a bar, restaurant, on the subway, on the sidewalk—and is trying to engage with you in a way that makes you uncomfortable or is unwanted, don’t worry about being polite—walk away or say something to end the conversation.
- Be mindful about “checking in” on social media: It can be a safer option to “latergram” a picture from your favorite spot so that your location is not immediately available to someone viewing your social media.
- Stick together: Bring a friend when you’re out exploring NYC, whether taking a walk with your sketchbook or camera or if you’re heading out to sample amazing food or drinks.
BE AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER
- Distract: If you see someone being harassed, you can interrupt and distract the conversation by asking for directions, walking between people or conspicuously dropping something.
- Delegate: Ask for help from someone else, like a person in authority, or call 311 or 911 if it is safe to do so and with consent from the person being harassed.
- Document: if it is safe, you can use your cell phone to photograph or record the interaction, but be sure not to share the documentation without permission, particularly on social media.
- Delay: It may not be possible to intervene in the moment, but you can check in with the person after the interaction happens and ask if they need help.
- Direct: You can interrupt and directly tell someone to stop what they are doing or saying, but prioritize your safety and avoid escalating a situation further.
RELATIONSHIPS = BOUNDARIES
- Go public: Meeting an online friend for the first time, IRL? Tell a friend about your plans and select somewhere public to get together.
- Don’t be shy—communicate: Be open with potential intimate partners about your desire and expectations and about your health history.
- Consent is key: Remember that affirmative consent requires enthusiastic agreement to every intimate act, every time and can be withdrawn at any time.
- Resources this way: If you hear about or experience violence in a relationship, there are resources and support available both at SVA and in NYC as well as around the U.S. and in other countries. Contact the Title IX Office at SVA for more information.
BE ONLINE, BETTER
Get the app: Download the GoSVA app from the Apple or Google Play Store and log in with your MySVA credentials to access your SVA account, emergency contact numbers, a campus map and many more helpful resources.
- Share with care: Be thoughtful about where you share personal information, pictures and videos and never click on links in emails or text messages that ask for you to enter personal information or passwords.
- Report: Remember that every social media platform has ways to report violations of terms of service, including harassment and discrimination.
Joseph SooHoo, SVA Security; Cong (Holly) Fu, Therapist, SVA Student Health and Counseling Services; Daniela Caraballo, Therapist, SVA Student Health and Counseling Services; Laurel Christy, Title IX Coordinator