Resources available for victims in need of help

Julie Mana-Ay

News Editor


In light of recent events surrounding student safety on campus, CSU Bakersfield Campus Advocate Vanessa Corona and Title IX coordinator Claudia Catota share what resources students can access to seek help when witnessing or experiencing sexual misconduct.

Claudia Catota, who serves as CSUB Title IX coordinator and assistant to the president, says that if students feel like they’re being targeted or a victim of a crime, they should report it.
Students are able to contact Catota directly to file a complaint against another person.

As the Title IX coordinator, Catota investigates harassment’s, accusations of discrimination, sexual misconduct upon college students.

“The crime doesn’t necessarily have to happen on campus. As long as it is a CSUB student, they can come and see us for resources,” Catota said.

Title IX is a federal law that was established in 1972. The law protects student rights against discrimination of sex, gender, or sexual orientation in activities and educational programs organized by CSUB. Title IX protects students against sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, gender discrimination, stalking, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and gender equity in athletics.

“Within the past five years or so, it has really evolved into encompassing sexual assault on college campuses, and it really came about as a response to a lot of student activism on different college campuses when universities weren’t responding to allegations to sexual assault adequately,” said Catota. “Universities are now being held accountable for these types of complaints.”

When dealing with sexual misconduct, both Corona and Catota believe University Police Department, the counseling center, and even stopping by either of their offices are fundamental resources students should take advantage of.

“No one deserves that. We want folks to know if they do come forward or do feel uncomfortable, knowing these places will never make this your fault. Even if it does take a little time, the awareness is out there,” Campus Advocate Vanessa Corona said. “We know things are happening so people can say something about it because each of us is one person.”

Corona said that if a student doesn’t feel confident in themselves about intervening in a situation, it’s okay to notify a staff member or to call the University Police Department.

“I want all of us to be equal in trying to prevent these things from happening. We know these things won’t happen if we continue to hold people accountable. We need for people to not feel concerned or scared when they come to school,” Corona said. “This should be a safe place, and it should be a learning environment.”

Corona encourages students to report these incidents to UPD. In any of those situations where a student may be uncomfortable giving their names to UPD, they’re also able to go to Corona to speak in a more confidential environment.

As a campus advocate and education coordinator at CSUB, Corona is able to help with Title IX, proceeding with law enforcements, or going to court dates if any sexual misconduct incidents were to happen to any student.

“Offenders are often repeat offenders. They’ve done it before and they know they’ve gotten away with it, so they continue to do so,” said Corona.
Corona wants students to know that if these situations do happen to them, it is not their fault.

“We want there to be that cohesion. We never want people to think there’s one person to talk to. There is a support team,” she said. “Sometimes we might be in situations where there’s less than positive people around. Call a friend, get a safety escort on campus. Don’t be afraid to use those resources. Don’t ever turn a blind eye.”

Corona is located in Rohan Hall 102 and Catota is located in the Office of the President.