Support Person Program

The College's Support Person Program is intended to provide alleged victims, as well as the accused person, with the option to request a professional staff member to assist them in navigating the College's disciplinary process related procedures, as well to provide support during a highly challenging time. Over the years we have found that during incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, students on both sides are overwhelmed by the potential enormity of the situation and the different courses of action and processes they must navigate.

A support person is “someone that you can rely on to help you manage your phobia. Although the term can refer to your therapist or other member of your treatment team, it is most often used to describe a close friend or relative who plays the roles of advocate, confidant and cheerleader."

For our campus, a support person is:

1.  A professional staff or faculty member specially trained in the area of Sexual Misconduct.
2.  A person who provides confidential counsel and helps a student understand the options available to them.

Any student who has a concern regarding Sexual Misconduct may contact a support person. Support persons can be helpful to students who have:

  • Been the victim of sexual misconduct or assault and are ready to talk about their concerns,
  • Been assaulted recently,
  • Had past experiences and are ready to talk about their concerns, or
  • Been or potentially will be charged with any form of Sexual Misconduct.

A support person will listen and provide non-judgmental support, guidance, acts as referrals, and explain options for the many different issues that occur when a student has been a victim of, or accused of, sexual misconduct. The College and legal system provides many different options for students when they have been a victim of sexual misconduct. Their role of a support person is to help the student understand all of his/her options and help them make the right decisions for his/her situation. Their role is about providing support and not necessarily advocacy; essentially they are a guide on the side.

Support people cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, but can guarantee privacy. Information should only be disclosed to select officials who have an essential need to know in order to carry out their College responsibilities. In many cases this can be done without disclosing the identity of the victim. Therefore, depending on the seriousness of the alleged incident, further action may be necessary, including a campus security alert. The alert, however, would never contain any information identifying the student who brought the complaint.

How to Contact a Member of the Support Person Program

Carole Metzinger
Coordinator of Disability Services
Lower Level of Library
562.907.4825
cmetzinger@whittier.edu
 
Tea Bogue
Assistant Director of Residential Life & Conduct
Campus Center
562.907.5385
tbogue@whittier.edu
 
George McKernan
Director of Conference Services
Mendenhall
562.907.4226
gmckernan@whittier.edu
 
Jenelle Roberts
Assistant Registrar
Mendenhall
562.907.4241
jroberts@whittier.edu
 
Joy Hoffman
Director of Cultural Center
Campus Center
562.907.4963
jhoffman@whittier.edu
 
Juliette Cagigas
Associate Director of Foundation Relations
College Hall
562.907.4942
jcagigas@whittier.edu
 
Shari Henderson
Assistant Director of International Programs
2nd Floor, Platner Hall
562.907.4308
Shenders@whittier.edu

Stephanie Hernandez
HR and Student Work Placement Coordinator
Mendenhall
562.907.4615
Shernan4@whittier.edu

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