This is in response to the October 30, 2014 Viewpoints piece in Ramapo News and comments made in social media circles. The College does not condone victim blaming in any manner in acts of violence or sexual assault. The College has extensive programs and policies in place to address sexual violence.
The presentation by Cory Rosenkranz has been part of the training effort on alcohol awareness for some time. Harm reduction strategies are one component of the entire process for education and prevention which we practice. Harm reduction does not equate with blaming the victim.
Seventy peer facilitators attended the presentation in August. The majority did not cite in their written evaluations or otherwise the comments expressed in the Viewpoints piece. Most who attended had a different recollection. Those who did reach out were contacted by the appropriate staff in September. Some have approached us regarding comments and inaccuracies.
The College’s commitment to educating and preventing sexual violence remains steadfast. As always, we welcome input on how to achieve those goals. It is regrettable if the presentation resulted in an interpretation different than what was intended. As part of our ongoing evaluation efforts in this and related areas, we will continue to look at the optimum way to deliver the intended message to respective audiences.
Judy Green, Director, Center for Health and Counseling Services
Since 1996, I have served as a counselor at the Center for Health and Counseling Services at Ramapo College. I consider myself privileged to be part of this community. In my professional role, it has always been my top priority to ensure the mental health of our students. In that capacity, I have worked with many students and organizations on campus.
I have always discussed harm reduction strategies in my presentations to students, athletic teams and before groups of all genders. I have given this presentation or similar variations to numerous students and groups over the years. During that time, I have not been approached personally by an attendee who was offended by the content or delivery.
I have never blamed the victim of sexual assault. I have devoted my career to prevent such instances and to heal those affected by these crimes.
In my August presentation on alcohol awareness, I did address briefly body language and facial expressions in response to a question. It was not the focus of my address nor did I discuss the topic of dress. The point was to emphasize how alcohol consumption affects judgment of the individuals involved.
It pains me that some may have interpreted my August presentation to the peer facilitators in a different manner. That was certainly not my intention, and I regret any misinterpretation or harm that it may have caused.
Cory Rosenkranz, Coordinator of Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention, Center for Health and Counseling Services