Dartmouth-WISE Agreement Brings Victims’ Advocate to Campus

A WISE advocate for students, staff, and faculty affected by dating and domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking will begin work at Dartmouth this summer thanks to an agreement between the College and WISE, a regional advocacy and crisis services organization for those affected by domestic or sexual violence.

The new advocate will be a confidential resource for students, faculty, and staff at the College and will often be the first contact point for those seeking assistance. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The WISE campus advocate will be an employee of the Lebanon, N.H.-based nonprofit and will have offices on the Dartmouth campus and at the WISE Program Center. WISE will advertise for the position and hopes to have someone in the role by July 1.

“This new position enhances and formalizes Dartmouth’s long-standing relationship with WISE and is part of the important work we’re doing as part of Moving Dartmouth Forward to create a safer and healthier campus,” says Provost Carolyn Dever.

The new position was created in a memorandum of understanding the College and WISE signed on May 15. The memorandum details how the College and WISE will collaborate to provide services to victims/survivors, as well as training and outreach to the Dartmouth community.

“The Dartmouth-WISE agreement advances the College’s efforts to provide trauma-informed, culturally responsive services to our students, staff, and faculty and improves our overall response to violence and harmful behavior,” says Heather Lindkvist, Dartmouth’s Title IX coordinator and Clery Act compliance officer.

WISE Executive Director Peggy O’Neil is pleased about strengthening WISE’s relationship with Dartmouth through the agreement. “Dartmouth College is a significant part of the communities we currently serve. We are happy to add a Dartmouth-focused advocate to our experienced and dedicated advocate team,” she says.

The new advocate will be a confidential resource for students, faculty, and staff at the College and will often be the first contact point for those seeking assistance. The advocate will increase the accessibility of WISE’s 24-hour crisis and advocacy support services for Dartmouth community members, and provide information about medical treatment, reporting options, and resources for support, counseling, and assistance following incidents of sexual violence, dating or domestic violence, or stalking. WISE’s website includes specific information for Dartmouth students.

Established in 1971, WISE is an independent, private nonprofit that serves 21 communities in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont and is the region’s sole provider of confidential advocacy and support services to victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and stalking and a leading educator on healthy and safe relationships. WISE provides services and support to victims/survivors and their children, including 24-hour crisis intervention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, hospital accompaniment, law enforcement and court advocacy, service coordination, peer support groups, and ongoing supportive services. All services are confidential and free of charge.

The campus advocate’s position adds to the College’s resources for victims of sexual violence, which include assistance through a number of offices, among them the Counseling & Human Development office, Dick’s House Health Services, the Department of Safety and Security, undergraduate and graduate and professional school deans, and Lindkvist’s office. See the sexual respect website for a full listing of support services.

Other Moving Dartmouth Forward efforts to improve the campus environment include creation of a mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for students and a responder training program for faculty and staff; creation of an online consent manual that will include realistic scenarios and potential sanctions to reduce ambiguity about acceptable behavior; and development of a Dartmouth-specific safety smartphone app for students to easily and immediately seek assistance if they feel threatened.