RHA Community Forum members discuss dorm safety, student resources

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Students called on the Syracuse University Dormitory Association to improve communication about sexual assault and theft Tuesday night at the organization’s first campus forum of the semester.

Participants discussed interactions between residents and residential advisors, dorm amenities, and building security. Many students have asked the RHA to create additional forums addressing racism, microaggressions, and sexual assault on campus. Others said the university could provide more specific ways to support students dealing with sexual assault.

“We want to advocate for the students,” said Alex Cheng, SU sophomore and director of RHA programming. “The forum is open to everyone and everyone can have a place to express their concerns.”

One student suggested that resident advisors hold meetings about sexual assault and provide resources to residents, but several participants said that RAs lack the necessary training to address the issue.

A junior RA from Shaw Hall, who did not want to be named, said RAs can feel oppressed when trying to talk about sexual assault. Josh Stone, RHA co-consultant, said RAs are capable, but not specifically trained, to have these conversations.

At the forum, students also raised concerns over the lack of CCTV in the hostels and suggested installing cameras in the corridors of the hostels. Stone said that while the university was considering the idea, members of the student body were concerned that the cameras would be invasive.

Rachel Adelakun, an SU junior who works as RHA’s public relations and marketing manager, said the forums give students a chance to voice their concerns about university dorm life.

“We do all these events on campus to bring our different communities together on campus,” Adelakun said.


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