Emily Hahn stepped into a new position on Jan. 3 at Goshen College: She is now the program director of sexual assault prevention, education and advocacy.Hahn was previously the full-time Residence Director (RD) of Kratz Residence Hall and Kulp Residence Hall, but she has been splitting her time between the two jobs this semester.
The new position has been created and funded by a three-year grant that GC received in October 2022 from the Office on Violence Against Women, a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The grant is intended to improve an institution’s ability to handle the problems of dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
“My primary goals are to increase the connections of stakeholders on campus,” Hahn said. “It is my job to equip all of the areas on campus to know how they can do this work in their area.”
These areas include but are not limited to Campus Safety, Residence Life, Prevention Intervention Network (PIN) and the Title IX office.
Hahn continued, “Part of the work we’re doing is really building up the capacity of the Title IX office with resources [and] building up connections to the YWCA as a services provider — and hopefully getting sexual assault counselors with that.”
The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human rights for women across the U.S. and will help carry out the goals of the grant at GC.
“Part of our focus is also going to be on commuter students and LGBTQ+ students as huge underserved populations on our campus,” Hahn said.
Outside of goals, a requirement of the grant is the presence of a Coordinated Community Response Team, which is composed of GC staff and members of external partners, in this case the Goshen Police Department and the YWCA.
“One of the first things we have to do is start working on a very comprehensive strategic plan for the next three years,” Hahn said.
“That will be the bulk of what we do over the next few months, so you won’t really see a lot of programming from this until next fall, because this first year is focused so much on planning and building up the partnerships.”
In terms of her qualifications, Hahn has held this exact position before at Manchester University under the same grant.
Because of this, she says she “can really hit the ground running.”
She also noted her newly completed master’s degree in social justice and human rights, with a focus on gender-based and identity-based violence.
In addition to Hahn’s experience and education, Chandler Buchefeller, the director of Residence Life and the RD for Yoder Residence Hall, said of Hahn, “dispositionally, I would also say that she is gifted for the kind of role that she is stepping into.”
When asked what the future of her RD position would be, Buchefeller said, “Emily’s Res Life responsibilities will come to a close at the end of May term and we have posted her RD position.”
Until then, he said, “she is retaining a number of her RD responsibilities, primarily related to oversight of the RAs for Kratz and Kulp and connecting with students in a variety of different contexts.”
Buchefeller made it clear that they plan to fill the position promptly, saying that “three is a good number [of RDs], given the number of students on campus and the configuration of the buildings.”
When asked what she would miss about her RD position, Hahn said, “I think that I will miss the natural relationships that come with Res Life work with students, and it just means I’ll have to work a little harder to get to know students … Residence Life is naturally so student facing.”
Rather than focusing on her departure from Res Life, however, Hahn is looking forward to the positive impact she will be able to have in her new role.