Staff Spotlight: May 2019
Lorelei Ahlemeyer, our Campus Advocacy Program Manager
Housed in the Health & Wellness Center at CSUMB, Lorelei Ahlemeyer's primary role is to assist students, faculty, and staff that have been affected by any kind of sexual violence, dating or domestic violence, stalking, and/or sexual harassment. Although that is her primary role, she is involved in much more. You'll find her at campus-wide activities and events, info tables, orientations, etc. She does lots of presentations on campus, ranging from informing people about Campus Advocate services, to special topics like trauma-informed approaches in working with survivors.
Now that Lorelei has been working as the MCRCC Campus Advocate for almost a year, we decided to ask her a few things:
Many staff and faculty at CSUMB are mandated reporters who must report incidents of sexual assault that are brought to their attention. However, the Campus Advocate is not a mandated reporter. Why is it important to have a confidential resource such as yourself on campus for students and staff?
"It is vital to survivors to have a confidential resource on campus for a variety of reasons. Because I am not a mandated reporter, students can talk to me and not worry about me telling someone else about it. I always discuss my confidentiality standards with students and let them know that I will not discuss their case with anyone without their consent. Discussing confidentiality with students up front brings a lot of ease and relief when they know that they can talk about what happened to them and not have to worry about it going anywhere. It is also very important to have a confidential resource on campus because I act as a spring board for students and let them know what their options are should they choose to do something about the assault, whether that is make a report to Title IX, report to law enforcement, provide counseling resources, or connect them to other university resources."
What is one of your favorite things about your job?
"One of my favorite things about my job is getting to work with college students! I learn so much from them and they bring a lot of joy to my life. Many of the students that I work with are incredibly resilient individuals and I marvel at the fact that many of them hold 2 or more jobs, maintain a full class schedule, all the while they are suffering from some kind of sexual violence. I also appreciate the relief in their faces when I inform survivors that there are options for them and that they don't have to suffer in silence. I really enjoy bringing 'peace' and comfort back into someone's life after it was taken from them."
What is unique about representing MCRCC on the CSUMB campus?
"I feel that being a MCRCC employee makes students feel at ease and safer knowing that I am not a mandated reporter. Many students are apprehensive about meeting at first and ask a lot of questions like, 'What do I have to do when I meet with you?' I let them know that they don't have to do anything if they do not wish to, and that MCRCC is a survivor-centered organization. I always want the survivor to know that they are in charge of what happens when they come and meet with me and that I am a confidential resource for them to help process what happened and present resources that can help them."