A New UMASS Orientation for Faculty and Staff Focuses on Incidents of Rape and Harrassment

New UMASS Amherst students are not the only ones getting orientation this year. Staff and faculty will soon receive a new resource packet to help them assist students who were rape, or are being sexually harassed or bullied.

    The UMASS UMatter campaign is expected to roll out early in the semester. Lynn Phillips, a professor of Communication at UMASS is one of several faculty members involved in what’s referred to as the Maroon Folder.

“[It] will contain information that helps people identify issues around victimization, give resources, referrals, for how to help somebody report [an incident]. That’s one piece. There’s also a web site that will be sort of a a hub for information, making it much easier for people to report incidents, and information about how to go about getting referrals, various options they have, and their rights under the law.”

    Phillips says the campaign aims to do more than just encourage  reporting incidents of bullying or rape. She says UMASS UMatter is about changing a certain culture on campus. The effort is being lead by the Dean of Students working with the Office of Residential Life. Phillips says several “bystander” trainings will be held during the school year, to educate resident assistants and directors about spotting potentially harmful or violent behavior in dorms where they live.