Violence Prevention and Response visits SGA

The Student Government Association met with Melanie Matson, the director of Violence Prevention and Response, at Tuesday’s meeting. 

Matson met with the council to discuss the progress of Violence Prevention and Response, an office created when Matson was hired in May. President Emily Solomon asked Matson to meet with SGA after members of the association expressed their interest in meeting with her at the beginning of the semester. 

During this discussion, Matson described what “violence” specifically means to her office—including abusive relationships, bullying, and sexual harassment — and how they are dealing with these issues. Matson said the office was very involved with orientation week and continues to work with the Emerson College Police Department and other groups in the community to raise awareness about these issues. 

Greta Spoering, the newly hired survivor advocate for VPR, came later during the discussion. They talked about how they are getting more involved with social media and how they are working on expanding their role at Emerson. 

“Emerson is definitely becoming a campus leader in these efforts against violence and assault,” said Matson.

Spoering said that discussions with students in VPR are completely confidential.

“We’re not part of any sort of student conduct process in the sense,” she said. “We’re there to help the individual person, whether they were directly affected by violence or they are a bystander to the violence.”