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Drake has final candidates for prevention coordinator

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BY KATHERINE BAUER

The 2016-2017 academic year has marked a time of great administrative and staff changes at Drake University.

This past July, Alysa Mozak resigned as the Coordinator for Sexual Violence Response and Healthy Relationship Promotion. A search committee sprang into action shortly after, looking for her replacement.

Mary Traxler, a junior music and psychology double major, felt there was a lack of communication with students asked to participate in the hiring process.

“I wish the school had made it easier for students like myself to get involved with the hiring process like they said they would,” the member of Mentors in Violence Prevention said. “I don’t know that it’s so much a rush as it is just a bit of negligence.”

Normally, administrators would wait 60 days before posting the position after a vacancy occurs. This is done to evaluate the necessity of the position.

However, as Drake’s Title IX Coordinator Kathryn Overberg explained, this waiting period was waived.

“Given the number of students and first-year programs, as well as requirements under Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act, it was important for us to be able to fill the position sooner,” Overberg said.

The coordinator’s role on campus is to provide resources on sexual violence prevention. The person taking on these roles will also become responsible for coordinating two student groups: Violence Intervention Partners and Mentors in Violence Prevention.

Human Resources confirmed that 21 people applied for the position. A search committee of faculty, staff, and students met to review applications. Several phone interviews were also conducted. Two finalists were identified through this process.

In-person interviews occurred on Sept. 6 and 7. Again, students, faculty and staff participated to get to know the two remaining candidates.

“I’m really confident in the two potential hires,” Traxler said. “And on the side of prevention and awareness, the new coordinator will be able to have an impact.”

Feedback from these interviews was submitted on Monday. Overberg said that interim Dean of Students Jerry Parker will make the final decision between the two candidates.

“The Prevention Coordinator will have a significant impact on campus,” Overberg said. “Prevention begins as early as Orientation and continues throughout a student’s Drake experience. The Prevention Coordinator will work collaboratively with students and student organizations to bring relevant, meaningful conversations to their lives and educational experiences.”

Traxler said that the prevention coordinator position is a very difficult job to take on since they are a mandatory reporter to the university, making it difficult to balance legal requirements and students’ needs.

“I want them to know how hard of a job it will be to go against student needs in order to legally protect the school,” Traxler said. “I want them to know that we have a lot of very passionate, hard -working students who deserve the best resources available.”

The university expects to hire the new coordinator by Oct. 1.

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