Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Kim Webb named sexual assault prevention coordinator

After months of searching, Washington University has found a new assistant director for community health and sexual assault services, Kim Webb. She will assume the position in June.

The University’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Violence and Prevention (ACSVP) has been preparing to hire a director for this position over the past year by compiling a series of goals, procedures and resources for the University’s own sexual assault prevention and response program.

The position, which is currently non-existent at the University, will serve as a coordinator for sexual assault prevention on campus.

“She’s going to be a point person on the front line and really [help] the University not only on educational initiatives but to be a lot more proactive,” said Jill Stratton, a co-chair of ACSVP.

Webb comes to the University from Student Health Services at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she has worked in health promotion, and has a special interest in violence education and prevention. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mizzou.

Alan Glass, assistant vice chancellor and director of Student Health Services, spearheaded the search process.

“I am extremely excited that we have found a student-focused individual with the qualifications and communication skills that Kim possesses. She is a great fit for this position,” he said.

He also emphasized the importance of finding a candidate who would work with the students who have already established programs to deal with issues surrounding sexual assault.

Stratton said much of the wait has been due to the lack of resources in place to educate and respond to concerns about the rise of sexual assault on campus.

Despite the time it took for the University to fill the position, Stratton is satisfied with Webb and feels that she will hold a successful role.

“It was a long process because it was an important process,” Stratton said. “I don’t think we were willing to settle. We wanted to find the best person, and that took a little bit longer, and I know there was some frustration, but the process was long and deliberate because it was important.”

The standards Stratton was looking for were rigorous. She wanted to fill the position with the most capable person possible.

“I think at some point we wanted the person to walk on water, but I think the number one thing was someone who had a commitment to students,” she said. “[Webb]’s coming from working on a college campus before, and she is knowledgeable about sexual assault and why is this happening.”

Webb looks forward to her new job; but she also realizes she has many challenges ahead.

“[I want to] make sure that we do a comprehensive effort of what is already available and what’s in place, and make sure we get all these stakeholders together so we are all working towards a community response, and that we address any gaps in services, so we can have a very fluid system,” Webb said.

Webb is well aware of what is expected of her.

“I’m looking forward to working on these issues. Long before this position was created there have been a lot of people interested in this advocacy and making sure these positions are available,” Webb said. [I am] looking forward to setting up a coordinated response system so that we do support students, so we can hopefully prevent these sorts of things that are happening, and we are aware of our language.”

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878