Rowan OSEC recognizes twentieth annual National Stalking Awareness Month

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Rowan’s Office of Students Equity and Compliance (OSEC) reminded students of resources on campus for stalking victims due to National Stalking Awareness Month. - Graphic via Rowan Announcer

January of 2024 marked the twentieth annual National Stalking Awareness Month, which draws attention to the issue of stalking, its warning signs, and the various forms it can take. 

In honor of this, Rowan’s Office of Students Equity and Compliance (OSEC) put out a message to the campus community regarding the ways that students can report if someone is engaging in stalking behaviors against them.  

When stalking is reported to the university through University Housing, the Wellness Center, or the Office of Community Standards, the university can work with the student reporting to develop a safety plan, issue a no-contact directive, and work with housing and educational departments across campus to ensure that the victim has no contact with the alleged perpetrator. 

Stalking behaviors include following, showing up to a victim’s home or work without invitation, as well as unwanted phone calls, letters, or other items sent through the mail. 

The announcer also mentioned online stalking behaviors, known as cyberstalking. This includes emails, phone calls, text messages, or the use of fake or authentic social media accounts to continue to keep tabs on a person and make them feel unsafe. 

Jennifer Neilio is the investigator and deputy Title IX coordinator at OSEC. 

“We want everyone in the Rowan community to know how to report and the fact that supportive services are available. However, our efforts to educate and bring attention to these serious issues are limited to awareness,” said Neilio. 

If a student is found to be stalking another person on campus, consequences vary from disciplinary probation to full expulsion from Rowan University. Other punishments may be applied if the student disciplinary system deems them appropriate and necessary. 

The OSEC office also offers training to faculty in residential life, athletics, SGA, Dean’s Council, and various other departments across campus. 

Student clubs and organizations can also book training sessions through the OSEC page on the Rowan website, and offer a free 20-minute training series through the Rowan Marketplace. 

Erwin Wambi is a member of the It’s On Us e-board, which aims to help in the prevention of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The club was unable to plan anything to honor the month, due to how late in the month the club restarted after winter break. 

“There are some months that go by without getting noticed… the university itself should at least try to engage students… most of the students come into college as literal teenagers. Some of them have never been… away from home for like a long time. So they are really bombarded by all these different things around them… they have no idea how to navigate them,” said Wambi. 

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