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Resident Advisor  Guidebook   Cape  Town  Bing  Overseas  Studies  Program              

P r o d u c e d b y :   A m y   H e r b e r t s o n   E d i t e d   b y :   R A   S t a f f  

INTRODUCTION Dear BOSP Cape Town Resident Advisor, Welcome to Cape Town! Congratulations and wishing you an amazing time in the beautiful Mother City! This guidebook was created to share useful resources, timelines, and advice for all Cape Town BOSP Resident Advisors. The motivation for creating this document was to capture and transmit information so that RAs coming into Cape Town do not have to start with a blank slate (ingenuity coupled with jetlag is exhausting), but can build off the experiences of others. Additionally, it provides essential resources for those who have not undergone RA training at Stanford. As the RA, you will be navigating a delicate line between student and staff identity. While this may prove challenging at times, it is also an enormous opportunity for insight into both worlds and developing your aptitude for relationship management. The information you will be communicating from both sides will be crucial for helping staff and students create and run a successful program. This is a living document that will expand as more and more RAs add information, templates, and anecdotal stories. Perspectives from multiple RAs will serve to demonstrate a variety of ways to handle similar situations as well as unpack the nuances of responding to individuals or communities in different scenarios. In light of that, please remember to add your own voice to this document at the end of your experience. Be candid! Be honest! Express yourself! It will be very useful for the next person coming into your position to have something to compare their experience to. Good luck with everything! Remember to ask for help when you need it! I hope you have an incredible experience and push yourself to expand beyond your comfort zone as you simultaneously lead others in doing so. Kind Regards, Amy Herbertson – RA 2012




Official RA Job Description Pre-Preparation A. RA Self-Preparation B. Personal Assessment C. Communications with Student Advisors, Orientation Coordinator, and Cape Town Administrator D. Communications with Students Pre-departure E. Important General Resources (see appendix)


Once You Arrive A. Setting the Tone: House Culture B. Importance of the First House Meeting C. Setting up Guidance for Students D. Assessing Students/Assessing Group Dynamics E. Setting up Expectations of Staff F. Orientation


The importance of communication A. Different Relationships you will Navigate B. Tools for Communication




Resources A. Social Resources B. Planning Social Activities C. General Education Resources D. Health and Safety Guides E. Public Transportation Appendix



Official RA Job Description

Resident Advisor / Assistant to Head Administrator of Student Services Bing Overseas Studies Program (Cape Town, South Africa) DESCRIPTION/ PURPOSE: The Resident Advisor (RA) is the key staff member for students' residential life in Cape Town. She/he lives in the student residence and helps build a strong, healthy residential learning community, which complements and extends to the students' classroom and experiential learning. The RA is expected to do the following: • Create a residential environment that enhances student academic progress and success; • To promote the intellectual and cultural life of the residence; • To create opportunities for students to explore and clarify their interests, values and attitudes; • To build inclusive and reflective environments in which differences of background and belief are explored; • To provide personal and academic counseling and referral; to participate in and help coordinate all program and house activities; • To know and explain University and program policies; • To be available to students, to encourage student responsibility and accountability, and to assist the Academic and Student Affairs Administrator in program planning in the office as required. SCOPE: This person is responsible for monitoring and managing student well being throughout the program. From monitoring housing issues, building and maintenance, to co-habiting and the social dynamics of student shared living. This person is also responsible for supporting the Academic and Student Affairs Administrator in planning and executing logistical and administrative arrangements in support of the program. This person is the primary student services resource out of office hours, and will be on duty 24 hours per day. S/he a wide range of responsibilities. It is important to interact with an extensive variety of constituents, and to exhibit professional conduct, expertise and creative problem solving and discretion with highly confidential information. S/he must be able to work well, both independently and collaboratively, with colleagues within the Centre, with local Western Cape community members, with the Stanford home office, and with the larger University as a whole. This individual must be very flexible and creative in response to the ever-changing needs and focus of the BOSP organization.


II. Pre-preparation A. RA Self-Preparation B. Personal Assessment C. Communications with Student Advisors, Orientation Coordinator, and Cape Town Administrator D. Communications with Students Pre-departure E. Important General Resources (see appendix)


RA Self-Preparation

It will be useful to prepare before coming to Cape Town and jumping knee-deep into RA responsibilities and the hectic Stanford schedule. While at home, plan some “reflection time” and determine goals and motivations for your RA position as well as those related to your personal life. How would you define a GREAT Resident Advisor? You have Stanford’s official definition of the roles and responsibilities of BOSP RAs and that is a great starting place for understanding what it means to be a good RA. However, you should personally decide what you will expect of yourself and how you will communicate with others in order to manage and set expectations. Being the RA is a unique experience- it is 24/7 and doesn’t have defined “on” and “off” moments. It is also different than being an RA at Stanford where you would have your own school life, friends, and concurrent RA staff who would understand your role and stressors.

How will  you  balance  your  identity  and  personal  life  with  your   responsibilities  as  the  RA?  

Some  thought  questions:     • What  are  your  boundaries  for  how  you  will  engage  with  students?    What   are  you  willing  to  share  or  not  share  from  your  personal  life?  (Defining   these  boundaries  can  be  very  challenging  but  are  necessary)       • How  much  do  you  expect/want  to  hang  out  with  the  students  socially?   • How  will  you  set  a  good  example  for  students?    What  about  your  own   identity  must  you  examine  and  reassess?   • Will  you  set  specific  office  hours  for  communication?  


Additionally, it is important to realize that you are the RA for an abroad program. While most students will be juniors or seniors, they will need more support from the RA than juniors and seniors on campus. It is probably comparable to being a freshman RA. Many people will arrive in Cape Town and have very little idea of how to navigate the new terrain. Likely you were a student who studied here for ten weeks a year or two ago so you know what that feels like. It would be helpful to you to do some research before coming back in order to re-familiarize yourself with Cape Town since often they will expect you to have detailed and specific answers for their many questions. You must manage their expectations concerning the limitations of your knowledge. As RA, it is better to facilitate the students’ independence and encourage them to find their own niche within Cape Town. Studying abroad students will likely have stressors that you must identify and keep tabs on. Keep in mind that students often bring with them various stressors 19-22 year olds generally have. These stressors can be exacerbated given an unfamiliar context. Please see the appendix at the end of this document which addresses some of these concerns. Don’t worry though! For most people studying abroad, the unfamiliarity of where they are will actually help them to gain different perspectives on their lives and will be an incredible growing experience. Regardless of how students feel throughout the program, likely, by the time they leave they will be incredibly grateful for the abroad experience and what they learned from the city and various mentors. You get to be a part of that!

How will  you  use  your  own  personal  assets  to  support  students   studying  abroad?         Students  studying  abroad  will  be:     • Adjusting  to  living  in  a  different  country  and  context   • Adjusting  to  security  and  health  concerns     • Attempting  to  understand  and  immerse  themselves  in  different  cultures     • Questioning  and  examining  their  identities  in  terms  of  privilege   • Orienting  themselves  in  terms  of  spatial  understandings   • Making  new  friends  within  the  program  for  social  support  and  fun   • Trying  to  make  friends  outside  the  program  to  prevent  social  isolation  as  an   American   • Dating  locals  (or  trying  to)   • Maintaining  and  simultaneously  testing  their  identities  (experimenting)   • Testing  their  boundaries  and  trying  to  have  abroad  “adventures”     • Managing  friendships/relationships  and  responsibilities  on  campus  and  at  home   • Going  through  ordinary  Junior  year  stressors  (summer  plans,  applying  for   fellowships  and  positions,  senior  year  plans,  post-­‐senior  year  planning)   • Managing  whatever  stressors  and  personal  issues  they  had  prior  to  coming  to   Cape  Town    




It is important to be honest with yourself about what you personally want from this experience. Supporting students studying abroad is fun and meaningful work, but I’m sure that there was a personal draw as well. It is equally important that you get what YOU want out of this experience and have a sense of personal fulfillment. Think concretely about what you want from this experience. Besides the fact that Stanford is awesome and Cape Town is beautiful, what else do you want from being in South Africa and working as the RA? Why did you come back to Cape Town? What will you have to accomplish or experience in order to return back to the United States fulfilled? Useful thought questions 1) Do you want to explore something in particular? Have you researched this ahead of time so that you can ease into it once you are here? Should you use a timeline or bucket list? 2) What makes you happy? Who makes you happy? 3) How do you plan to create a social life outside the Stanford program? (if that’s your goal) 4) What are your personal, academic, even career interests and are there people outside the Stanford program you can reach out to? In the Stanford program? 5) Would you like to do service-learning again or an internship? Do you want to do it with a Stanford partner organization or an outside organization? 6) Will you want to fit auditing a class at Stanford or UCT into your schedule? What are your expectations for yourself if you do this? What are the expectations of the teacher?

You will not have a set schedule and in order to get the most out of the 5.5 months you will be here, it is a good idea to create your own schedule and expectations. Pre-planning before you arrive will help! Remember-orientation is intense and you don’t want to blink and suddenly find yourself in Week 3 of the quarter making ad hoc decisions and commitments that don’t fit with your overall goals.


When making ANY commitment, ask yourself: • • • • •

Does this align with my most important personal goal? Will it enhance my ability to achieve and enjoy this goal or detract from it? Does it clash with my goal? Am I creating too many goals for myself? Do my goals/plans fit together or do they undermine each other?

Student Social Life vs Your Social Life While you will definitely hang out with the students, you might not want to do the same things they are doing. Remember they will be experiencing everything for the first time “Long Street- LET’S GET CRAZY!!”- but it won’t be as novel for you. Also, most of the students will be juniors whereas you have graduated. Those two years make a huge difference- you will probably care about and want to talk about different things than the students. (For example: once you graduate, who cares about the social dynamics of the Row!?) Be prepared for this! There might be times when you feel lonely or at odds with the group. Make sure to take care of your own social and emotional health! It’s important to support yourself first so that you can support others also!

How comfortable  are  you  being  on  your  own?    What  measures   will  you  take  to  ensure  that  you  still  have  adequate  social   support?     Some suggestions: 1. Friendships and check-ins with staff 2. Joining a club and sticking with it. 3. Forming one-on-one relationships with students. This might be easier and more fulfilling than trying to mesh with the group. Students are eager to hang out with and get to know you! (Note: depending on the social dynamics of the group, this might also be tricky. You don’t want to be seen as “taking sides” with one student or a group of students, especially if there are tensions within the group. This has to be done delicately and equally otherwise it might damage your stance as a neutral party and you may lose the trust of some students, impacting your ability to do your job well) 4. Become a regular at a coffee shop and make friends with the staff. It’s nice when people know your name. 5. (great for meeting people who are eager to hang out, guide, help, internationals traveling.



Communications with Student Advisors, Orientation Coordinator at Stanford, and BOSP Program Coordinator Cape Town

It is useful to stay in the know with where students are and what they are being told by various parties. It will influence their expectations once they arrive. I suggest staying in touch with student advisors and the Orientation Coordinator on campus. If you want something specific mentioned at orientation, make note of it and ask them to do so. Jen will keep in touch with you and ask you to do things as needed.


Communications with Students Pre-departure

For the most part, you will not communicate with students before they arrive. Also, if you are going to communicate, the Orientation Coordinator asks that you first get your emails approved through her since BOSP would like to send a consistent message. It is nice to send one HELLO email where you introduce yourself and offer yourself as a resource before students arrive, just to make the initial meeting smoother for all.


General Resources

As an RA, there are some general resources you should become acquainted with. These resources cover highly sensitive scenarios and situations that are talked about in RA training on campus. Often there IS an appropriate way to respond to highly sensitive situations and the way you respond as a “first responder� (from what you say to the immediate actions you take) will be very important to setting the tone and procedure for what happens, protecting the student, and ultimately influencing how the event is remembered. The resources compiled are listed in the Appendix section of this document and include Stanford RA resources from campus RA Orientation.



III. Once You Arrive

A. Setting the  Tone:  House  Culture     B. Importance  of  the  First  House  Meeting   C. Setting  up  Guidance  for  Students  (ex:  giving  out  applications)/conveying  your   timeline  of  check-­‐ins)   D. Assessing  Students/Assessing  Group  Dynamics-­‐  (pre-­‐empting)/assessing   student-­‐staff  relationships)   E. Setting  up  Expectations  of  Staff    (Setting  a  good  perception  of  staff)   F. Orientation  

A. Setting the Tone: House Culture Before anyone even arrives you can work to create the atmosphere that you want to set for the house. Setting up an environment that is conducive to positive community living and learning is an important part of your role. Some ideas: Decorating the walls: You could theme the residence like the dorms on Stanford. These will both provide color to fill the white walls and also can be educational. (Neighborhoods of Cape Town? Historic Events? Important People?) A welcome home sign: It’s such a nice thing to arrive to when dropped off from the airport! And in general! Calendar: It’s nice to have all three months up on the wall so that students have an idea of how time is moving and when important events are coming up. Push-pin boards with information: Activities. Good clubs and bars. Good Restaurants. Good Museums. Important Events (ex: Two Oceans Marathon, Carnival). Interesting Websites and Blogs. Free internet locations map? A section for peer to peer advice on Cape Town discoveries. Push-pin boards for Announcements and Communications: A centrally understood area (perhaps above where the food is served) where it is understood that important announcements are posted and where students can write comments and communicate house issues. (See resource in communications section) Condoms: Please put condoms in all the bathrooms around the residence to encourage safe and responsible sex. B. Importance of the First House Meeting The first house meeting sets the precedence for the quarter. It demonstrates how you will interact with the students as an authority figure, a mentor, and a confidant. It is a chance


for you to express what you expect from them individually and as a group of adults as well as the standards you expect in the communal living situation you are leading. It also defines your role as an intermediary to the staff in terms of communicating needs and wants from both sides. How’s It Going: It’s good to start off meetings with small “How’s it going” questionsjust to get a handle on the vibe of the house. If you earn the student’s trust enough that they give honest feedback- these reflections might be very interesting and will also be good to bring back to staff meetings. It also frames it so that the students realize they have an option to speak at these meetings: the meetings are not just about you speaking AT them and communicating information. They are also an opportunity for the students to voice their recommendations and be able to influence how the program responds to concerns. Logistics: A good time to get logistical things out of the way: collecting forms, housing deposits, etc. Also: a good time to explain how you will communicate with students about logistical things. Will you send around sign-up sheets at house meetings? Will you send out google documents? Safety and Security: At the first house meeting it is important to establish with the students guidelines for safety and security. This should include their responsibilities for keeping the residence secure as well as what is necessary for them to be safe individually and in group settings. Much of the necessary information you should cover can be sourced from other program documents. 10 weeks! Living with Intention: This is a good time to remind students that they have 10 weeks in Cape Town get what they personally are looking for from the experience! The program plans many events for them but students are also responsible for taking initiative and working to create for themselves the adventures and educational journey that they seek. My Role as your RA: This will be a good time to communicate with students how you will interact with them as the RA. You can harken back to your personal reflections section here: (What are your boundaries? How can you set and manage expectations? Are you comfortable also being a PHE?) C. Setting up Guidance for Students This is a good opportunity to introduce how you will help to guide students and facilitate the experience that they want. Giving out applications: An idea that I tried (Amy) that worked well was printing the essay part of each person’s application and giving them their individual essays. The students seemed to really appreciate it, since they had applied months before and forgotten the reasons they listed for why they wanted to come and the objectives they set


for themselves. This helps with establishing personal responsibility for their Cape Town experience and also gives them an opportunity to reflect during the program and after on what they experience in relation to what they expected to experience. Conveying your timeline of check-ins: It is difficult to keep track of student health individually (mental, emotional, social, ect) if you only interact with students in a group setting. It is important to find time throughout the quarter to have individual check-ins with students formally and informally. (See appendix for example formal check-in with students) Office Hours: Will you have office hours at the Stanford Center? During certain times in the residence?

Check-­‐in Questions:  Week  4  or  5     You  should  meet  with  every  student  individually  around  week  4  or  5  to  check-­‐in  with   them  and  see  how  they  are  doing.    It  is  sometimes  difficult  to  assess  individual  students   when  you  mostly  interact  with  the  group  and  some  fall  under  the  radar.    These  are   examples  of  very  poignant  questions  meant  to  get  to  the  heart  of  how  each  student  is   doing  emotionally  and  socially  through  the  different  aspects  of  their  experience.      By   this  period  in  the  quarter,  they  are  more  settled  into  Cape  Town,  becoming  more   independent,  have  built  a  trusting  relationship  with  you  (hopefully),  and  yet  there  is   still  time  for  you  to  impact  and  enhance  their  experience  if  it  is  not  going  as  they   like/or  if  it  is  but  they  seek/need  more  guidance.    Also,  it  is  a  good  time  to  work  on   their  time  management  and  help  them  plan  for  finals  so  that  they  don’t  get   overwhelmed/feel  as  if  they  are  losing  precious  last  days  in  Cape  Town  since  they   didn’t  start  work  early  enough.     1. How’s  it  going  overall?   2. How  are  classes?   3. How  is  service?   4. How  do  you  feel  you  are  integrating  into  Cape  Town?   5. How  do  you  feel  you  are  integrating  into  the  group?   6. Do  you  find  it  difficult  to  meet  locals?   7. Is  this  what  you  expected  from  the  program?    Are  you  happy?    Do  you  wish   you  could  do  more  of  something  and  don’t  know  how?    What  will  make  you   happier?   8. How  are  you  in  terms  of  emotional,  social,  physical  health?   9. What  do  you  predict  will  be  your  stressors  in  the  coming  weeks?  How  do  you   plan  to  mitigate  this?       10. Are  you  worried  about  midterms  and  finals  and  balancing  that  with  having  a   social  life?   11. What  can  I  do,  as  your  RA,  to  help  you  get  what  you  want  out  of  this   experience?    


D. Assessing Students/Assessing Group Dynamics In the first few days after arrival, it is good to do a general assessment of student personalities, needs, and group dynamics. It will be useful if you can pre-empt any problems or foresee where students will need to be supported in the coming weeks. It is also a good time to assess student-staff relationships and see where they are strong and weak. You might want to respond to some of these assessments early on. E. Setting up Expectations of Staff You have the ability to influence how students view everyone on staff and their relationships with staff members. It is useful to establish a good perception and expectations of staff from the beginning. Make sure to always promote and support that staff is attentive to student needs, receptive to ideas, very approachable, and cares! F. Orientation Orientation is going to be rough for students. It is long and usually the days are hot and sticky (especially on the bus). Students will be jetlagged and falling asleep sometimes. As a super awesome RA, you can brew morning coffee and bring light snacks for the bus. (Think gum/chips). A spray bottle would also be an awesome idea!



IV. The importance of communication A. Different Relationships you will Navigate B. Tools for Communication

A. Different Relationships you will Navigate: One of the most important functions as the RA is to build, mediate, and manage relationships between several different parties for general communication purposes and for conflict resolution. It is necessary to maintain positive, trusting relationships with everyone involved in the program. This is a lot of pressure and it requires tons of initial input to build relationships, but in the end, will actually make performing your job easier. In mediating and managing relationships, here are a few suggestions: 1) 2) 3) 4)

Treat all parties with respect. Use the art of persuasion to convince, not your authority to demand Maintain a positive viewpoint of everything, even if you have to fake it. Empathize. Compromise. Remember you are “on everybody’s side” ;)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The primary relationships you will have to negotiate include: Staff çè  Students   Staff will ask you to communicate with students often- that is, after all, one of the primary reasons that you are living in the house with everyone. When communicating with students, it is incredibly important to demonstrate to them that you respect their opinions as adults and are willing to listen and communicate with staff on their behalf. Students (20, 21, 22 Juniors and Seniors mostly) are aware that you are only a year older than them and if you try to take on the RA position from a purely authoritarian position, it is likely that they will lose respect for you, won’t communicate their needs with you, and probably won’t like you- making your home environment hostile and your job difficult. Sometimes staff will ask you to communicate and encourage students to do things they don’t necessarily want to hear/do. It is important in these instances to approach the situation with finesse to avoid resentment. At the same time, it is necessarily to remember that you have a job to perform and you have to convince them to do what staff needs/wants them to do. If you approach things with a sense of humor, and use the art of persuasion to convince them that whatever you are conveying is ACTUALLY an incredible experience for them (not an obligation, and even if it is mandatory- not “mandatory” but an “opportunity”, you will have the most luck.) It is also often necessarily to hold a strong firm line- especially when it comes to issues of appropriate and respectful behavior. Students have to take you seriously. But in general,


if you respect them, they will respect you. If you hold high expectations for them and expect them to meet those expectations they likely will. On the other hand, these are not necessarily adults and they will depend on you often for communicating their needs and wants to staff. Listen for this. They may ask you to set up a meeting with Tim or Jen about something, or to report an anonymous complaint. It is sometimes obvious and direct statements, but it is sometimes “reading between the lines” or overhearing their inter-group talk. It is important for you to do this aspect of your job well, otherwise the staff might never hear their opinions, since they may not be bold enough to address the issue with staff. It is important to always assure students that their ideas are valued and measures are being taken to find compromises or solutions. This will create a positive vibe and positive culture in the house. Students/Staff çè  Household  Staff/Landlord/Caterer   Students will sometimes have concerns about minor house maintenance issues (lightbulb out, etc) and you should take initiative to communicate and manage these issues with the landlords (Annemarie and David). Larger concerns (internet constantly down, waterheater broken) should also be reported to Jen. The staff will often ask you to keep track of progress on larger maintenance projects and sometimes to be around the house so that maintenance workers can get in and out of rooms. The landlords and staff usually communicate directly about the progress of these projects. It is important that you communicate with students about large maintenance projects as well as progress on their requests, completing the feedback loop. Sometimes it may take a few weeks to fix certain maintenance problems and communicating with students about timelines to expect and why they should expect them demonstrates respect for their concerns and will keep them from becoming frustrated. It is also useful to hold the landlords as well as yourself accountable by displaying the maintenance requests on a public forum in the residence. One way is to keep posted a record of requests and when the requests were first made and when they are completed. David really appreciates seeing this on the wall because it helps him keep track of his work. See template below (you can print a blank template and students can handwrite their requests). This record should also be kept as an electronic file (excel or Google docs) and communicated with the landlord, students, and Stanford staff weekly. Students check this regularly to see if their requests have been received and are being dealt with. Another important job function will be maintaining student relationships with the household staff (Mama Z, Patrick). They are wonderful people and if you show through


your actions that students can and should feel comfortable interacting with them, you will enrich the experiences of everyone!

One Student  çè  Group  of  Students   There will be times when you must mediate the relationship of one student to a group of students. These situations will often arise when one student is not adjusting well to communal living and may be making other students uncomfortable by overstepping or disrespecting boundaries. Students will report to you on this issue and often ask you to deal with it. It is best to set up a meeting between the parties and to let them sort it out themselves as adults rather than try to “discipline” the individual student, though sometimes this individual “talking-to” may be necessary. One  Student  çè  One  Student   Group  of  Students  çè  Group  of  Students   Sometimes there will be individual disagreements between students or cliques of students. You do not have to become involved in these disagreements. They are natural and it is best to let them be and evolve as they may. Your sole job should be to make sure that whatever tensions exist do not affect the house culture too much or make other, uninvolved students uncomfortable. You should always re-emphasize the importance of respect in communal living and communicating within the residence.


Sometimes it will be necessary to take individual students aside and to talk to them if they appear to be maladjusted. In this case, try to approach the situation with empathy and openness, since they may be going through something you do not understand on first appearance. It is best to try and build their trust so that you can continue to communicate with them throughout the quarter. Don’t assume students will ask you for help. They will ask you for help only if they trust you. That’s why initial input into the relationship is so important. -­‐-­‐EXCERPT FROM  STANFORD  RA  TRAINING  GUIDES-­‐-­‐     Here  are  some  things  to  consider:   1.  Plan   a.  Consult  with  Jen   b.  Know  resources/referral  options  going  in.  What  you  want  to  talk  about.   2.  Location/Time   a.  Private  (you  should  turn  your  cell  off  or  put  on  vibrate)   b.  Lowest  chance  of  interruption   3.  Level  of  Concern   a.  Need  to  convey  concern  but  not  make  it  an  intervention   b.  Important  to  be  non-­‐judgmental     The  goal  of  this  kind  of  encounter  is  to  make  sure  the  resident  is  OK,  and  if  s/he  is   not,  to  support  them  and  connect  them  to  resources.  After  talking  with  the   resident,  three  things  should  have  happened.  One,  you  should  know  you  care  and   are  there  for  them;  two,  you  should  know  options  for  resources  and  referral   regarding  whatever  is  going  on;  and  three,  you  should  know  that  you  are  going  to   follow  up  with  them.    

B. Tools for Communication Google Documents, Doodles, and Survey Monkeys are a good way to communicate with students. However, important information should also be physically posted around the residence (ex: Hashing Schedule – students can sign up online but this definitely should also be posted for convenience). They are useful for: -­‐ Signing up for individual appointments with RA -­‐ Sharing phone numbers and individual emails -­‐ Student input on cultural events -­‐ Signing up for hashing (also allows for some autonomy since students can choose the schedule they prefer) -­‐ Signing up for jobs during Special Dinner and other group activities -­‐ Communicating dinner menu requests with caterer -­‐ Anonymous feedback -­‐ -­‐

Keeping track of receipts if students spend money on group activities and reimbursements needed Sourcing interest on group outings



Resources A. B. C. D. E.

Social Resources Planning Social Activities General Education Resources Health and Safety Guides Public Transportation

A. Social Resources Students will appreciate if you provide them with some useful resources for finding out about social events and general happenings in Cape Town during their time here. If you are really nice, you can even send them a weekly email of your curated RA highlights. Some useful online resources include: Cape Town Magazine Thunda The Next 48 Hours Computicket Gumtree

B. Planning Social Activities Stanford traditions should not fall by the way-side just because we are in Cape Town! Some great in-house social events you can plan include: Special Dinner: It’s a nice beginning of the quarter bonding experience! Students take charge and cook! Everyone gets super excited! Your theme can be South African! A chance to invite staff and faculty over as guests! Woohoo! What’s not to love? Progressives: Again- students love it. Low work input from you besides setting the date. Midnight breakfast: It would be MUCH appreciated during Finals. Needs a bit of preplanning though. Braiing: Hopefully students will take this initiative themselves. But if not- YOU MUST BECOME THE BRAAI MASTER!

C. General Education Resources Try to keep up to date with UCT’s public lectures:


Good news links to keep up with and send to students occasionally: Mail and Guardian Cape Argus Daily Maverick Cape Times

D. Health and Safety Guides The Health and Safety Guides can be edited in Adobe Photoshop. E. Public Transportation Cape Town By Minibus: (Fare: R6 to town) o o o o

Get on the minibus from Main Road. Make sure you are standing on the side closest to Pick and Pay. On your return trip, take the Mowbray or Wynburg minibus from the main terminal point. (where you were dropped off) Ask to be dropped off at Pick and Pay Observatory on your way home.

By Train: (Fare: R7 to town) o o o o o

Check the train schedule before you go to the station. Make sure you buy the metroplus ticket (aka 1st class) Get off where the track ends (simple!) When returning home, buy a ticket for Observatory. Make sure you look out the window for the Observatory sign, since there are no announcements. The immediate stops before you reach Observatory are —.

By My Citi bus: (Fare: R–) o o

The My Citi bus is a new service by the City of Cape Town. The main terminal is near the Civic Center. The Gardens-Civic Center-Waterfront route will take you around the Central City.



University of Cape Town By Jammie Shuttle: (Fare: FREE!) o o


Jammie Shuttles run regularly during the week and will pick up about every 20 minutes. The most convenient Jammie Shuttle to take to campus is near the UCT medical school on Bowden Road. (up the road from Pick and Pay). There will be a bus stop area. When coming home, take Jammie Shuttles labeled Medical School, Rodchester, or Obs on Main/Obs Square. This will drop you off where you were picked up (near the Medical School).

Waterfront By Minibus: (Fare: R–) o o o

Take the minibus to Cape Town On the side of the train station where there is an open square/behind the Civic center, you can get on a minibus towards the Waterfront. As you walk down Strand Street, there should also be a place you can get on the minibus (near Woolworths)

By My Citi bus: (Fare: R–) o o

The My Citi bus is a new service by the City of Cape Town. The main terminal is near the Civic Center The Gardens-Civic Center-Waterfront route will take you past the Waterfront.

Rondebosch By Minibus: (Fare: R–) o o

Hop on the minibus on the far side of Pick and Pay (you are going the opposite direction that you would go if you are heading towards the city) Ask to be dropped off at the Rondebosch Pick and Pay



Claremont By Minibus: (Fare: R8) o o o

Hop on the minibus on the far side of Pick and Pay (you are going the opposite direction that you would go if you are heading towards the city) Ask if the minibus is going towards Claremont/Wynburg because not all minibuses heading that direction will pass through Claremont. Ask to be dropped off at Cavendish Square (where you can go shopping!)

Camp’s Bay By Minibus: (Fare: R12) o o o

Take the minibus to Cape Town At the main terminal point, get on the minibus heading towards Camp’s Bay. Ask to be dropped off at Camp’s Bay

Clifton 4 By Minibus: (Fare: R12) o o o

Take the minibus to Cape Town At the main terminal point, get on the minibus heading towards Camp’s Bay. Ask to be dropped off at Clifton 4th

Simon’s Town By Train: (Fare: R–) o o o o


Check the train schedule before you go to the station. Make sure you buy the metroplus ticket (aka 1st class) Buy a ticket for Simon’s Town. When returning home, buy a ticket for Observatory. When returning from Simon’s Town, try not to take the last train. Sometimes (especially on hot days) trains are very full and you might not be able to fit on the train. Taking a taxi back from Simon’s Town would be VERY expensive. Make sure you look out the window for the Observatory sign, since there are no announcements. The immediate stops before you reach Observatory are —.


Muizenberg By Train: (Fare: R–) o o o o


Check the train schedule before you go to the station. Make sure you buy the metroplus ticket (aka 1st class) Buy a ticket for Simon’s Town. (Muizenberg is a few stops before Simon’s Town, which is the end of the line) When returning home, buy a ticket for Observatory. When returning from Muizenberg, try not to take the last train. Sometimes (especially on hot days) trains are very full and you might not be able to fit on the train. Taking a taxi back from Muizenberg would be VERY expensive. Make sure you look out the window for the Observatory sign, since there are no announcements. The immediate stops before you reach Observatory are —.

Kalk Bay By Train: (Fare: R–) o o o o


Check the train schedule before you go to the station. Make sure you buy the metroplus ticket (aka 1st class) Buy a ticket for Simon’s Town. (Kalk Bay is a few stops before Simon’s Town, which is the end of the line) When returning home, buy a ticket for Observatory. When returning from Kalk Bay, try not to take the last train. Sometimes (especially on hot days) trains are very full and you might not be able to fit on the train. Taking a taxi back from Kalk Bay would be VERY expensive. Make sure you look out the window for the Observatory sign, since there are no announcements. The immediate stops before you reach Observatory are —.

Hout Bay By Minibus: (Fare: R–) o

(I think this is possible but I am not sure where they pick up)


Greenpoint By Minibus: (Fare: R–) Take the minibus to Cape Town o At the main terminal point, get on the minibus heading towards Camp’s Bay. o Ask to be dropped off at Greenpoint Pssshh a cool place to explore is the Urban Park built for the World Cup. It’s near the Stadium. o

By My Citi bus: (Fare: R–) o o

The My Citi bus is a new service by the City of Cape Town. The main terminal is near the Civic Center The Gardens-Civic Center-Waterfront route will take you past Greenpoint.

Seapoint By Minibus: (Fare: R–) o o o

Take the minibus to Cape Town At the main terminal point, get on the minibus heading towards Camp’s Bay. Ask to be dropped off at Seapoint

Stellenbosch By Train: (Fare: R22) o o o o o o

Check the train schedule before you go to the station. Make sure you buy the metroplus ticket (aka 1st class) Take a taxi to the Salt River train station. From there, buy a train ticket towards Stellenbosch. The train station lets off on Adam Tas Street on the western edge of Stellenbosch and is only a few minutes walk from the city center. (Wikipedia) When returning home, buy a ticket for Salt River and then take a taxi back to Observatory. When returning from Stellenbosch, try not to take the last train in case there are any problems. Taking a taxi back from Stellenbosch would be VERY expensive.



Make sure you look out the window for the Salt River sign, since there are no announcements.

Northern Suburbs By My Citi bus: (Fare: R–) o The My Citi bus is a new service by the City of Cape Town. The main terminal is near the Civic Center.



APPENDIX * The following pages include recommended resources that would begin to shape a comprehensive appendix. This is a working document so please edit and add to it as you see fit. Here is what is currently included: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Strategic Persuasion Social Identities The Mediation Process Culture Shock Reflections on Group Formation Observing Behaviors Managing Emotions Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse

Here is what might be useful to find additional resources on: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.


Alcohol and Drug Abuse Stress Management Wellness and Health Mental Health Sexual Health Depression and Suicide Risk LGBT Identity Responding to a Victim of Crime (A Residential Break-In or Mugging)


Weapons of Influence (From our trusty friend Wikipedia) § § § § § §

Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor. Commitment – People are likely to honor commitments. Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures. Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand.

Four-step approach to strategic persuasion •

Step 1: Survey your situation Analyze your situation, goals, and challenges.

Step 2: Confront the five barriers Five obstacles pose the greatest risks to a successful influence encounter: o Relationships (What is the strength of your relationships with those you are hoping to persuade?) o Credibility (Have you built up enough credibility?) o Communication mismatches (Are you clearly conveying your message? Are you managing expectations?) o Belief systems ( o Interest and needs (What are the spoken and unspoken

Step 3: Make your pitch People need a solid reason to justify a decision, yet at the same time many decisions are made on the basis of intuition. This step also deals with presentation skills.

Step 4: Secure your commitments In order to safeguard the longtime success of a persuasive decision, it is vital to deal with politics at both the individual and organizational level.




Culture Shock Culture can best be compared to an iceberg: Just as an iceberg has a visible section above the waterline, and a larger invisible section below the waterline, culture has some aspects that are observable and others that can only be suspected, imagined, or intuited. This hidden part of culture is vital to how people all over the world operate, however largely unconscious and usually not articulated.

Phases of culture shock Culture shock as a process of adjusting to a foreign culture is said to follow a so-called U-Curve model by Oberg, which comprises four main stages. 1) The Honeymoon Stage - the initial stage of elation and optimism is where the individual will overlook minor problems and look forward to learning new things. Cultural differences are seen as charming and merely the positive aspects of this different culture are identified. This phase can last from a few days to about six weeks. The individual can be described as interested, curious and open-minded and is ready to accept the situation during this first stage. 2) Culture Shock Stage - This stage begins when the individual begins to view the new surroundings in a less idealistic and more realistic way and therefore also seeing the negative aspects of the host country. This period is characterized by irritability, frustration, and confusion. Especially the differences in language can present a huge barrier, as well as different values, beliefs or symbols of the host country to one’s home



country. The individual finds himself in a situation of disappointment or rejection of the new culture as a result of the discrepancy between expectations and reality. The term “culture shock” for this stage is rather misleading, as it suggests an impact with a single cause. It is in fact a result of a simmering reaction to a succession of minor events which are difficult to identity. 3) Adjustment or Recovery – “The turning point.” During this stage the individual returns home or gains understanding and adjust to the local culture. The adjustment to the host country is thought to evolve through acquiring greater knowledge of the local culture and language. More interaction simultaneously increases the likelihood of shared understandings, providing a greater sense of predictability and control while reducing ‘we-they’ stereotypes and perceiving cultural similarities. 4) Mastery - This stage can best be described as one of integration. The individual recognizes that the new culture has much to offer and develops a sense of dual cultural identity (biculturalism). The individual accepts the new culture, feels integrated and even absorbs the habits of the new society, which in return makes him feel secure in his position.


Causes of culture shock Â


Culture shocked individuals experience culture shock in different way and forms and therefore display diverse symptoms. Is there any influence on whether or not culture shock occurs? Why does it occur in the first place? What are the strongest influences and criteria of culture shock? Three categories that may cause cultural shock, and that influence its length and intensity are: Cultural differences – the quality, quantity and length of culture shock seems to be a function of the differences between the home and the host culture. Individual differences – There are major differences between individuals and their capability to deal with social situations. Especially their demographic and psychographic make-up poses a difference at this point. Sojourn experiences – How an individual deals with culture shock and how he adapts to a new culture, depends on his intercultural experiences, especially with the host culture (cultural briefings, language training, ‘suggested’ readings) One of the main factors that influence culture shock is the inability to communicate with the local culture as well as lack of knowledge about the host country. Having to express oneself in another language means learning to adopt someone else’s reference frame. Language can help during the socio-cultural adjustment process, as it makes interactions with locals easier and prevents misunderstandings and "faux-pas".

Actions against culture shock What can we do to prevent culture shock or to ease its effects? How can culture shocked internationals assimilate more easily? And how can expatriates help themselves and each other? How can we use the advantages of cultural diversity? Competencies for adjusting to living and working internationally • Interpersonal skills: Crucial skills that facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and improve coordination and control, establishing relationships, and building trust allows people to tap into critical information • Linguistic ability: helps establish contact especially “bits of conversational currency” (local expressions, information, and interests.) • Motivation to live abroad (cultural curiosity): key ingredient to a successful adaption of expatriates, genuine interest in other cultures and new experiences. • Tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity: circumstances change unexpectedly, behaviour and reactions of locals unpredictable, acknowledging that uncertainty and ambiguity exist (not everything is straight forward but multiple perspectives possible). • Patience and respect: respect towards the new culture without benchmarking it against the home culture, instead trying to understand local reasons for the way things happen. • Cultural empathy: appreciating thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others, focused


listeners and non-judgemental approach. • Strong sense of self (or ego strength): a healthy narcissism necessary to allow interaction with another culture without fear of losing one’s own identity, enabling the expatriate to be self-critical and open to feedback. • Sense of humour: important as a coping mechanism and for relationship building, and to buffer frustration, uncertainty and confusion. (NEED SOME INFORMATION ON REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK!) Reflection on Group Formation There are several different models of group formation, but the one that is most pertinent to your work as RAs was developed by Tuckman and Jensen. The Four Stages of Group Formation: Forming Participants are most concerned with the identity and attributes they are sharing with the group. There is a lot of focus on how they will be perceived by others. Storming Participants are most concerned with the amount of control or influence they have within the living environment. This can be formal – being elected to a position or informal – when I share my opinions, people listen to me. Norming Participants are most concerned with stability and maintaining the roles people have within the group. Performing Participants are most concerned with the group’s identity and ability to achieve its goals. This may occur during planned events – community service projects or social events


Observing Behaviors Behaviors that Build and Maintain Functionality and Discussion • • • • •

• • • •

Encouraging: being friendly, warm, responsive to others; accepting others and their contributions, regarding others by giving them an opportunity to contribute. Expressing Feelings: sensing and expressing the feeling of the group; calling attention to reactions of the group to ideas. Compromising: compromising when your own idea or status is involved in a conflict; admitting error, controlling oneself to maintain group cohesion. Harmonizing: attempting to reconcile disagreements, reducing tension, getting people to explore their differences. Gate-Keeping: attempting to keep communication channels open; facilitating the participation of others; suggesting procedures for sharing the discussion of group problems. Setting Standards: expressing a standard for the group to achieve; applying standards in evaluating group functioning and production. Testing Consensus: asking for opinions to find out if group is near a decision; sending up a trial balloon to test possible group conclusions. Following: going along with the movement of the group; serving as an interested audience. Clarifying: Explaining when necessary an item that was not clearly heard.

Behaviors that Help Complete Tasks • • • • • •

• •

Initiating: proposing tasks or goals; defining a group problem, suggesting a procedure or idea for solving a problem. Seeking Information: requesting facts; seeking relevant information about a group concerns. (Information should also be confirmed- students sometimes exaggerate) Giving Information: offering facts; providing relevant information about group concerns. Seeking Opinions: asking for the expression of feeling; soliciting the expression of values; seeking suggestions and ideas. Giving Opinions: stating a belief about a matter before the group gives suggestions and ideas. Clarifying: interpreting ideas and suggestions; clearing up confusion; defining terms; offering alternative and issues before the group; listening closely is implied. Elaborating: giving examples; developing meanings; making generalizations, indicating how a proposal might work out, if adopted. Summarizing: pulling together related ideas; restating suggestions after the group has discussed them; offering a decision or conclusion for the group to accept or reject. Listening closely is implied.


Behaviors that Inhibit Functioning & Discussion (Not Comprehensive) • • • • • •

Blocking: attempting to stop any action the group agrees on. Disagreeing when members begin to agree. Pleading Special Interests: constantly bringing up your own cause and trying to make it part of the group’s goals. Goofing Off: continually cracking jokes and drawing attention to yourself. Not Participating: not saying or doing anything. Just being a body in attendance. Confessing Yourself: continually relating a personal story, or often not relating to the current topic. Another means of drawing attention. Seeking Recognition: Participating solely in an effort to gain recognition of your ideas/accomplishments.

Managing Emotions Handout Emotions can be cued by verbal and non-verbal behaviors, but they are often left unspoken. They "seem to be there but you have to consider that they may not be there, or that the speaker may not be ready or willing to discuss them. It is not usually appropriate to listen to/explore emotional content early on in a relationship. Yet, you can always be supportive of another person's emotional experience and be attuned to their emotional state, by using active listening skills. Be respectful of other people's emotions. Do not explore emotions that are not ready to be expressed and do not ignore emotions that need to be acknowledged. Moreover, we all have to learn to manage our own emotions, especially as RAs. Selfreflection is important. Ideally and with practice, when experiencing a strong emotion, you will be able to: • Stop: take a moment to register your emotions and the intensity with which you are feeling them. • Act: it's ok to verbalize your emotions and to explore them. • Analyze: understanding why you are feeling strongly about something is difficult. Sometimes we react strongly to one thing, when we really are thinking about/reacting to something else entirely. • Reflect: take the time to explore how have you handled this emotion in the past and how you would like to handle it. It is common for us to be more comfortable expressing certain emotions over others. Some of us find if easy to express anger, rather than fear. Others are comfortable expressing happiness, but never sadness. Taking the time to understand ourselves emotionally helps us connect with others in an authentic way. It is also empowering to learn how to manage your emotions, instead of feeling like you have no control over them. Ask yourself: Did I handle it the way I wanted to, this time? There's no "simple" approach to managing emotions. Some have had more practice than others with this skill. Also, it is common for us to experience the same emotion, over and


over, until we gain a better understanding of it and the function it plays in our lives. Some people use anger to camouflage fear, for example. Other people use infatuation, or romantic feelings, to cover up feelings of loneliness or alienation. Be mindful of your emotions and the impact the have on those around you. But, accept that this is no simple task. SEXUAL ASSUALT: If someone you know tells you that they have been sexually assaulted, the first thing you can do to help is to believe them. Listen, provide comfort, and help to ensure their safety. Understand that the impact of sexual assault goes much deeper than the physical effects. While your first reaction may be to contact police, consider the individual’s thoughts and feelings, and allow them to make this decision when and if they are ready to do so. Encourage the individual to seek medical attention, which may be necessary to care for physical injuries or to try to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy. Finally, reinforce with the individual that they are not to blame no matter what they did, how they behaved or what they wore. Many of the clients I assist realize that none of the people they approach for help mean to be unhelpful or unsupportive; they just didn’t know what to do, or what to say. Discouraged, awash with guilt and feeling disconnected from the very people she turned to for help, her feelings of isolation and vulnerability grew. She felt so much shame and embarrassment, how could she tell a stranger when she found it difficult to tell her loved ones?


Common Emotional Feelings There is no single way a person will react after being sexually assaulted. The following are some of the possible reactions people may experience however each individual will react differently according to their own personal situation. Shock and Disbelief - I can't believe this has happened to me. - I can't stop crying. - I want to cry but I can't. - I feel so shaky and restless. - I feel so numb/cold. - Why am I so calm? - This doesn't feel real. - I feel like I'm outside myself watching this. Confusion and Disorganization - I can't concentrate. - I can't make a decision about anything. - I can usually do this easily but not now. - I don't know what I should do. - I don't know where to turn. Fear - I'm afraid. He could have killed me. - What if I see him again? - What if I contracted a disease? - What if I'm never "normal" again? - What if other people find out? - What will my family think? My partner? My friends? Depression - I'll never get over this. It's hopeless. - How can I go on? - I feel so tired all the time. - I don't want to see anyone. - I don't enjoy anything. I'm bored. - I deserve to be punished. I'm bad. - I'm having so many nightmares. I can't sleep. - I'm eating all the time/I don't feel like eating anything. Anxiety - I'm so jittery. Everything startles me. - My muscles are always twitching. - I can't relax. - I feel faint. - I have hot and cold flashes. - I feel nauseous (sick). - I have diarrhea all the time. - I feel like I have to be aware of everything around me.


Shame and Loss of Self-esteem - I feel dirty and soiled. - I feel used, useless, and worthless. - Everybody hates me. - I'm no good. - I can't do anything right. - I'm a terrible person. - I can never let anyone know.


Guilt - It's my fault - I should have known better. - I never should have been there. - I must have done something to cause it. - Maybe it was what I was wearing. Anger - I hate him/her. - I hate all men. - I hate everybody. - I hate myself. - Someone should have been there to stop it. - Where were the police? - Why doesn't everybody just leave me alone? You do not have to remain immobilized by your feelings. When you are ready, you can take back control of your life. You may want the help of family, friends, and/or professional counselling.



How can family and friends support a sexual assault survivor? The manner in which family and friends react to a sexual assault can have a significant impact on the survivor's recovery. Some family and friends will react in a positive and supportive manner and, therefore, help to minimize the psychological impact of the sexual assault. Others inadvertently contribute to the survivor's sense of stress. Here are some guidelines for helping someone you know recover from sexual assault. DO: Listen Let the survivor talk. She may begin in a rush of words, or may have a great deal of difficulty saying anything at all, so be patient. Let the survivor tell what happened in her own words, at her own pace. Believe One of the greatest fears of many survivors is that they will not be believed. Accept what you are hearing. Comfort Try to calm the survivor down if she is agitated, but do so in a soothing - not disapproving - manner. She may want to be held if crying, or may not want to be touched at all. Check first. Reassure Reassure the survivor that you care. Allow her to talk out feelings but reinforce that the sexual assault was not her fault. Provide Support and Help Drive the survivor to appointments or baby-sit in order to enable her to meet with lawyers, police, and counsellors. Remain Available In the weeks and months following the sexual assault, reassure the survivor that she can turn to you whenever necessary. Then, when she does, give your time and attention. Accept the Survivor's Feelings Your friend's recovery period may last a long time, during which moods and reactions may change radically from one day to the next. Learn about sexual assault recovery so that you'll know what to expect. Share this material with the survivor. If You Are The Victim's Partner With her approval, do use appropriate touching and language to re-establish her feelings of worth. Gentle touching that she feels in control of will help the survivor to understand that your connection together is unbroken. Let the survivor decide what and when sexual activity should begin again. Do not pressure. Let The Survivor Make Decisions Help the survivor to organize her thoughts, but make her own decisions. The survivor needs to regain a sense of control and competence. Get Help For Yourself You may need to talk with someone other than the survivor to discuss your feelings about the sexual assault and its aftermath. By getting help yourself, you may be able to help your loved one more effectively.



DO NOT: - Blame your loved one. - Describe your loved one as "damaged", "soiled", or "devalued" in any way. - Withdraw or pretend the sexual assault did not happen. - Pressure your loved one to talk if she doesn't want to. - Direct your anger and frustration at your loved one. The survivor is not to blame, and neither are you. - Take over the survivor's life, or become over-protective. - View the survivor as weak if she seeks counselling to assist in recovery. - Label the survivor's feelings as "wrong" or "bad". (RAPE CAN HAPPEN TO MEN)



WHAT IS A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP? A healthy relationship is characterized by mutual respect, equality, trust, communication and freedom. Each person is allowed to be an individual within the relationship. Both people grow independently of each other as well as grow as a couple. WHAT IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP? Relationship abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to maintain power and control over a partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation or intimidation. FACT: AT LEAST ONE IN THREE WOMEN WILL HAVE BEEN ABUSED IN HER LIFETIME.* They are people we know and people we care about. Relationship abuse happens to people of all ethnicities, in both gay and straight relationships. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice 2003 Statistics Crime Data Brief, intimate partner violence is primarily committed against women. HOW TO HELP A FRIEND: · Listen, without judging. Be there to support her. · Tell her that the abuse is not her fault. There is no excuse for abusive behavior and it is never acceptable. · Empower her to make her own decisions. Don’t be another person to control her. · Get advice and direct her to resources. MYTH: RELATIONSHIP ABUSE DOESN’T HAPPEN TO STANFORD STUDENTS. FACT: Between 2000-2007, there were 152 reports of relationship abuse at Stanford. According to the American Bar Association, 28% of female students on college campuses experience relationship abuse. The U.S. Dept. of Justice has estimated that only 38% of relationship abuse incidents are reported. And even if it was only one report every year, that would still be one report too many.


QUESTIONS TO IDENTIFY RELATIONSHIP ABUSE: • Do you feel nervous around your partner? • Do you have to be careful to control your behavior to avoid your partner’s anger? • Do you feel pressured by your partner when it comes to sex? • Are you scared of disagreeing with your partner? • Does your partner criticize you, or humiliate you in front of other people? • Is your partner always checking up or questioning you about what you do without your partner? • Does your partner repeatedly and wrongly accuse you of seeing or flirting with other people? • Does your partner tell you that if you changed, he or she wouldn’t treat you like this? • Does your partner’s jealousy stop you from seeing friends or family? • Does your partner make you feel like you are stupid or crazy? • Has your partner ever scared you with violence or threatening behavior? • Does your partner prevent you from going out or doing things you want to do? • Has your partner said “I will kill myself if you break up with me” or “I will hurt/kill you if you break up with me”? • Does your partner make excuses for the abusive behavior? For example: saying, “it’s because of alcohol or drugs”, or because “I can’t control my temper”, or “ I was just joking”? Possible Responses Approaching a friend/resident about relationship abuse can be difficult, but showing that you care can make a huge difference. If you think your friend is being abused, talk about it. The following are some statements and questions you can say to help your friend work through what s/he is feeling. Listen. Let your friend know you care. You don't have to be an expert. You just need to be there. · I’m really concerned… · It sounds like your partner is being really controlling…Do you feel like you can be yourself? · I just want to make sure you’re safe…Do you feel safe right now? · I want you to know that this isn’t your fault… · You don’t deserve to be treated like this… · That sounds like it would be really difficult to deal with… · Thank you for sharing this with me…I know it must be really hard to talk about this… · I’m just going to give you some resources in case… · I want you to know that no matter what you decide to do, I’m here for you. Remember: Change doesn’t happen right away! The most important thing you can do is provide resources and be available.


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