UND now has a confidential resource on campus for those seeking help after experiencing sexual assault or violence.
Logan Kassa began working at UND about a week ago as an adviser through the Community Violence Intervention Center. Because she's not technically a UND employee and has the proper license, she isn't required by Title IX to file an official report on all cases of sexual assault.
Officials hope this will make it easier for those in need to ask for help.
UND's Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office Director Donna Smith said CVIC has always been an option for students, but having an advocate on campus will make it more accessible.
"We wanted to have another resource on campus where students or faculty or staff could go and it would be entirely confidential," she said. "They can work through Logan to get counseling or other resources off campus and also on campus."
Kassa studied social work at UND and graduated in December. Even though she hasn't counseled any students yet, she's eager to help.
"Working with people and helping people has always been something that I'm passionate about, and domestic violence and sexual assault has piqued my interest in the last couple of years," she said.
A helping hand
Title IX requires all UND employees to report any cases of sexual assault they become aware of.
There were five reported sexual offenses on UND's campus in 2013, including instances ranging from "fondling" to rape. The numbers are down from eight reported incidents in 2011 and seven in 2012, according to the school's 2014 Clery Report.
Those who choose to consult with Kassa will still have the option to take action through university or police channels, in which case their incident would show up on the Clery Report. Smith said that decision will be up to the individual involved.
"We're just trying to make it that much easier for students to access those services," she said.
While there are several other departments on campus that work to be proactive in the area of sexual assault, Kassa's job is to provide support, which can include rearranging class schedules or finding different living arrangements.
"We take a reactive stance, not a proactive one," she said.
Counseling services for sexual or domestic violence are also offered through the Employee Assistance Program and at the University Counseling Center and Women's Center.
Kassa can be reached by phone at (701) 777-6550 or in her office in O'Kelly Hall, room 4. Her office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, noon to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays.