Stephanie Spitz has resigned from Pittsburg State University as the Campus Victim Advocate. Spitz was also the advisor for Students for Violence Protection (SVP) along with her role as helping those who have experienced sexual assault.
The administration is currently looking for someone to replace the position.
“The information that I have is that the university has been trying for a little while now to get a new counselor hopefully, somebody who is trauma-informed, but they’ve not had much luck,” said senior in biology and SVP student coordinator Wren Lowrey. “It’s pretty much been told that we have enough counselors, and though I think we all as students don’t feel the same way, and so without a campus victim advocate, it’s a toss-up. Do we want another counselor, or do we want to get a campus victim advocate? So, the administration is going to decide relatively soon to make that choice.”
With Spitz no longer on as advisor to SVP, graduate advisor and graduate student in counseling, Tiffany DeMoss has had to take on more responsibilities.
“So, I’m taking on a lot more advising responsibilities like communicating with higher-ups on campus, communicating with more people in the community, attending a lot of the meetings that Stephanie was going to in the community and on campus and helping a lot more with event planning,” DeMoss said.
Along with more responsibilities for DeMoss, it has also caused issues on the administrative side of things.
“On the SVP side, it means that we do not have as much administrative support,” Lowrey said. “Stephanie was a very big advocate not only on campus but for students about prevention. We’re very progressive I would say with our views on rape as well as sex-positivity. So, on either side of the spectrum of what sex is, we are very progressive and our views and how women should be treated and people of all genders. And sometimes the campus did not agree with their view. And Stephanie always took that role in saying, this is what students need and our students are helping those students.”
Even with these new issues, SVP still wants students to know that they will continue with their same goals as last semester.
“So personally, I want this semester to be about empowering people to take a stand and to stop violence before it happens, just like our model always is by when it does happen, empowering ourselves and each other to report,” Lowrey said.
When it comes to finding a replacement for Spitz’s position, DeMoss does have an idea of who she would like to replace her.
“I would really like someone who has a very progressive mindset and very much wants to be involved in promoting awareness for all of these things and letting it be known that ‘Hey, these things are happening, we are going to talk about them, we are going to get rid of this awkwardness around this topic and we are going to be here to support our community that needs it,” DeMoss said.