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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

G.I.V.E. Grant Column: Raising awareness for stalking on college campuses

Photo taken by Adrian Vazquez
(Left to right) Iona University G.I.V.E. Grant Director Leonora Campbell and WestCOP Central Violence Prevention Educator Kevin Landino hosting a stalking information table at LaPenta Student Union.

While January is associated with the start of classes for the spring semester, January is most importantly Stalking Awareness Month.  

Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid, distressed, or in danger. It may be easy to dismiss stalking as something that “wouldn’t happen to you” but the data speaks for itself – stalking is everyone’s concern.  

According to the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center (SPARC), 1 in 10 undergraduate women and 1 in 33 undergraduate men are victims of stalking. When considering that there were 16.9 million undergraduate students enrolled in universities across the United States in 2023 according to BestColleges.com, it becomes clear that stalking is an issue we must acknowledge – especially since 18 to 24-year-olds experience the highest rate of stalking among adults. 

So, if stalking is everyone’s concern, how do we address stalking on college campuses? Iona University Gaels Interpersonal Violence Education (G.I.V.E.) Grant Director Leonora Campbell strives to give students the tools to combat stalking through a multi-event program: Know It, Name It, and Stop It. The primary feature of this program is a series of informational tables that provide students with knowledge on how to know when stalking is happening, identify stalking behaviors, and properly intervene in stalking situations. “Students do not even know if they are being stalked. The tables help students identify behaviors and what they can do to intervene on someone else’s behalf,” explains Campbell.  

Campbell’s campaign for stalking awareness does not comprise only campus faculty – students also help the cause. “The Acrobatics and Tumbling Team have hosted a table this week. I am open to any club/organization that wants to collaborate in this effort,” explains Campbell. A Student Advisory Team of eight to 10 students also contributes feedback on ways to improve student engagement. 

The results speak for themselves – 20 to 30 students stop by the table each day to learn more about stalking. As a way to engage students, the tables typically have bracelets, pins and candy to distribute to students along with flyers that share demographical statistics on victims of stalking, common behaviors associated with stalking, and fallacious names for stalking. 

One of the flyers highlights multiple resources available to victims of stalking. Iona University has a Title IX Office that helps anyone who has experience dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (DDVSAS). The Title IX office email is [email protected]. Jenn Lykins is the Title IX Coordinator and can be reached at the following phone number: 914-633-2455. Off-campus confidential services include the WestCOP Victim Assistance Program and the SAAVE Crisis Hotline, Advocacy & SANE Program.  

To learn more about stalking, stop by the last Stalking Awareness Tabling on Friday, January 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the LaPenta Student Union Lobby. 

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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