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UNH Announces Decision on SHARPP

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

May 9, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire President Ann Weaver Hart announced today she will endorse the recommendation of the campus Space Allocation and Repair and Renovation Committee (SARRC) that the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) be relocated to 12 Ballard Street, in the building currently known as the Health Services Center.

"I am delighted that I am able to make this announcement with the support of the many people who have a strong investment in SHARPP and the services and programs it provides," said Hart. "With all of us on board - the SHARPP staff, the Advisory Board, the SHARPP Review Panel - we can now focus on the important work that needs to be done for survivors of sexual violence and the campus community as a whole."

The announcement follows months of discussions over where SHARPP ought to be located. In January, Kevin Charles, interim vice president for student affairs, appointed a review panel to develop a set of principles that could be used to determine if space for SHARPP was adequate and protected the safety and confidentiality of survivors.

After those principles were developed, the SHARPP staff ranked each of the available spaces, in accordance with the principles. Their recommendation was that 12 Ballard Street was the best location.

That recommendation was forwarded to SARRC, which reviewed the materials last week. To ensure that everyone was in agreement, a special meeting of SARRC was held earlier this week, and faculty and staff concerned about the process were invited to attend. They included Amy Culp, acting SHARRP director; Victoria Banyard, associate professor of psychology and convenor of the SHARPP Review Panel; Amelia Wolflin, student leader; and Andy Merton, SHARRP Advisory Board chair.

According to SARRC Chair Candace Corvey, vice president for finance and administration, "This was a good meeting because we could focus our attention on joint problem-solving toward what is clearly a shared institutional goal to house SHARPP in space that most supports - both physically and perceptually -- the critically important work of that office."

In addition, Hart has asked Charles to work with Health Services and SHARPP staff, the SHARPP Advisory Board, and interested students to explore possible new names for the building at 12 Ballard Street that would be consistent with the functions and philosophies of the organizations to be housed there. Any name change would be subject to approval by the USNH Board of Trustees.

Based on the recommendation of SARRC, the president also is calling for a formal review by a panel appointed by Hart at the end of FY05 regarding the suitability of the new SHARPP location. The criteria for the review would be those developed this year by the Review Panel.

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