TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association each recently donated $25,000 to the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center and UA’s R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Fund.
The Tuscaloosa SAFE Center is a community-based, collaborative agency designed to meet the emotional, medical and forensic needs of sexual assault survivors. The center, which opened last month, serves Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens and Sumter Counties.
“We are so grateful for the generous gifts from the IFC and Panhellenic Association,” said Pam Jones, executive director of the SAFE Center. “The University’s students, faculty and staff have been incredibly supportive of the SAFE Center, and this generous support allows us to continue to provide a safe place to land for those who have experienced sexual assault.”
Price McGiffert, UA Student Government Association president, serves on the center’s board of directors.
“One of my goals at the Capstone has been to strengthen the bond between SGA and the University’s administration, city of Tuscaloosa and state of Alabama,” said McGiffert. “Contributing to the SAFE Center is a tangible way for students to fight sexual assault. Supporting the SAFE Center goes beyond awareness and crosses over to the action phase.”
Created last year by UA’s SGA, R.E.S.P.E.C.T., which stands for Reaching Every Student Possible Ensuring Care and Treatment, is an endowment to increase mental health awareness and resources on campus. Over time, the UA Counseling Center and other agencies will be able to use the fund where deemed necessary to promote student health and well-being.
“We saw an opportunity to make a large impact on student life and the Tuscaloosa community by making these donations to create sustainable resources for years to come,” said Lexi Matallana, UA Panhellenic Association president. “Mental health and sexual assault are major issues on college campuses across the nation, and our student community has always been great about working together to create change.”
The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Fund has raised more than $100,000 over the past year. The goal is for the fund to raise $1 million over 10 years.
“The Alabama Interfraternity Council is very grateful for the opportunity to be a leading partner for promoting positive change in the Tuscaloosa community,” said Vincent Zicarelli, UA Interfraternity Council president. “Along with other UA student organizations, we have seen tangible impacts made as a result of the community-wide effort to improve available resources for our students.”
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.