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Maine Maritime Academy Joins NASPA’s Culture of Respect Collective

Wed Apr 21, 2021

CASTINE – Maine Maritime has announced that it has joined a cohort of 20 colleges and universities from across North America for the fifth cohort of NASPA’s Culture of Respect Collective program. The Collective is an ambitious two-year program that guides cohort institutions through a rigorous process of self-assessment and targeted organizational change.

“This is an incredibly exciting step for us. It brings our ongoing efforts to create a safe and equitable campus environment for all students to the next level and will prepare us for long-term success in this arena,” says Dr. Elizabeth True, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and co-chair of MMA’s Collective committee. Dr. True also serves as NASPA’s state director.

Culture of Respect Collective InstituteEach diverse cohort of the Collective relies on an expert-developed public health framework, cross-campus collaboration, and peer-led learning to make meaningful programmatic and policy changes. More than 120 colleges and universities have participated in the Collective but Maine Maritime Academy is the first state maritime college to do so. MMA’s participation in the Collective will last through 2023.

The program is a proven, adaptable model that helps institutions from large to small, public and private, in multiple geographic areas of North America, work across departmental silos and stay connected with peers as they engage in the critical work of comprehensively addressing campus sexual violence, within a shifting social and political landscape.

For Roxanna MacGregor, Student Government Association President, the initiative provides a blueprint for the future. “We are not going to stop pushing for a community that we can be really proud of,” she says. “We are creating a campus culture where we have the resources to directly address harassment and violence, so everyone feels safe and supported to come forward with their experiences and make things right.”

In addition to building relationships with peer institutions across the country and having access to NASPA’s vast resources, participation in the program has galvanized the college’s longstanding Title IX committee and brought new perspectives to the work.

“Through our participation in the collective, we’ve brought together a diverse committee of participants from across campus. These students, faculty, and staff are dedicated to addressing our campus culture,” says Janet Acker, Executive Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff, and co-chair of MMA’s Collective committee.

“In addition to providing our institution with a framework for change, the Collective has energized our community,” Acker continues. “The work we’re doing now will provide critical tools for growth and provide meaningful opportunities to continue bringing folks into the conversation.”

The college’s community partners include Kirsten Tenney, AMHC Sexual Assault Services Advocate/Educator for Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties. AMHC is a private, non-profit community health and social service organization.

About NASPA

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. NASPA’s work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.

About AMHC Sexual Assault Services

AMHC Sexual Assault Services Advocates support nearly 400 victims per year in Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties. They can be reached by calling the 24-hour Sexual Assault Helpline at 1-800-871-7741. Text and chat are also available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. The service is free and confidential. For more information, visit AMHC Sexual Assault Services at https://www.amhcsas.org/.