Indiana Daily Student

Rape crisis fund needs support

Registration check-off could be removed

While registering for second semester classes, IU students can purchase yearbooks, Little 500 tickets and bus passes. Students can also donate money to the IU Student Association Rape Crisis Fund -- for now.\nIf the number of student donations does not increase, the IUSA Rape Crisis fund could be removed from the registration system.\nThe IUSA Rape Crisis fund is a $3 donation charged to a student's bursar bill; the sum of all donations is given to the Middle Way House.\nThe rape crisis fund is the primary source of funding and the only steady source of income for the Middle Way House rape crisis program. In the last two years, IU students have donated more than $40,000.\n"The rape crisis program provides support for rape victims and people whose lives have been touched by rape," said Middle Way House Crisis Intervention Services Coordinator Amy Woods. "Last Friday one woman called. She had been raped five hours earlier and needed advice on what to do next."\nThe Middle Way House rape crisis program services include a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, rape survivor support groups, prevention programming and temporary shelter for victims. \nSenior Rebecca Snyder, director of the IUSA Health and Safety Department, is responsible for maintaining and promoting the rape crisis fund. \nTen percent of the student body must pledge donations for the IUSA rape crisis fund to remain an option during registration, Snyder said. But donations from the spring semester and first summer session fell below the minimum criterion, placing the rape crisis fund in a precarious situation.\nIf the number of donors from the second summer session and fall semester falls below 10 percent of the student body, the rape crisis fund could lose its position in the registration system, she said.\nSnyder said she hopes to raise the number of student donations by increasing visibility through advertisements and campus fliers. Pizza Express, 1791 E. 10th Street, also includes handbill advertisements on all of its pizza boxes.\nDuring the current registration period, IUSA student body congress members will stand outside Franklin Hall and encourage students to select the rape crisis fund by distributing mints and handbill advertisements.\n"The drive seems to be coming along extremely well," said sophomore Lara Kalwinski, IUSA off-campus senator. "Besides merely taking fliers, students are stopping and asking questions about the fund which shows a genuine interest."\n"Sexual assault is a big issue on our campus and every college campus," Snyder said. "Students need to be aware of this issue and they need to know that the Middle Way House is there to help them."\nThe Middle Way House Rape Crisis program assisted more than 150 rape victims and answered more than 260 phone calls between September 1999 and September 2000. More than half of the phone calls came from IU students, faculty and staff.

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