The University of Alabama’s Student Government Association presented a check for $15,250 to the Tuscaloosa SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) Center board earlier this month to help build a new state-of-the-art medical facility in Tuscaloosa that will provide medical aid and a safe haven for sexual assault victims.
The SGA hosted a fundraising campaign for the center that was capped by a 12-team powder-puff football tournament at the University Recreation soccer field. About 30 UA student organizations contributed to the campaign.
“On behalf of the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center board, we are thrilled to be working with the students at UA,” said Amanda Fowler, chair of the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center board.” They have been determined and dedicated, and we are honored to have their strong support.”
Andrew “Ross” D’Entremont, vice president of academic affairs for UA’s SGA and a 20-year-old junior from Birmingham majoring in political science, said sexual assault is prevalent on many college campuses, but now with the conversation about it being so widely discussed, it’s time to put an end to it.
“As students we felt it was so important and that something like the SAFE Center open in Tuscaloosa because it would help more sexual assault cases be reported and more attackers be brought to justice,” D’Entremont said. “Sexual assault is not something we are going to tolerate here at UA.”
D’Entremont said the center would help mitigate the trauma and shock that sexual assault victims experience immediately after an attack.
“When someone has been sexually assaulted they want to go somewhere that is private,” he said. “At DCH you may go to the ER and see people you know. The SAFE Center will provide that privacy as well as medical aid from nurses who have received specific training for this.”
The SAFE Center will not be located on campus and is not a part of the University. Fowler said construction on the facility should begin after the first of the year, with a potential opening in spring 2018.
“I want parents to know that we’re doing everything to make sure that we’re one of the safest campuses in the country,” D’Entremont said.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.