Coffee sleeves and support services


Starbucks shops on campus are teaming up with The Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) to raise awareness of sexual abuse.

Chloe Forbes

When getting your morning coffee fix, you might have a noticed the regular brown coffee cup sleeve replaced with a white one.

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) teamed up with dining services to raise awareness about the services available on campus for victims of sexual assault.

Coffee hotspots such as the Olson Bean Scene, Moyo Café in Oscar Ritchie Hall and George T. Simon Café will participate throughout April, using coffee cup sleeves that have statistics about sexual assault on them.

Meghan Lee, a graduate assistant at SRVSS, came up with the idea of using coffee cup sleeves for awareness. She said they were looking for new ways to engage with and reach new students.

“Hopefully once they’re in the library studying or in class, they’ll notice the sleeve,” Lee said. “We wanted to make people aware that the SRVSS office is a resource on campus for students.”

There are three variations of the sleeve. Each has contact information for the SRVSS office on the front, in addition to a statistic on the back.

Junior Spanish major David Fair is one of the students who received his drink with the white coffee sleeve.

“I think it’s a good way to reach a large amount of people,” Fair said.

He said sexual assault is an issue that’s often overlooked because it’s more likely something parents warn about when first going to college.

“When you come to college, you have a baseline understanding,” Fair said. “Fortunately, we have the SRVSS office and Green Dot that not only help raise awareness but make the student body more informed.”

Senior economics major Caleigh Sullivan also had a cup of coffee with the new sleeve on it. She said she would not have even known about SRVSS if it hadn’t been for the coffee sleeve.

One of the statistics on the sleeves quotes the National Center for Victims of Crimes, stating, “In 2015, only 5 percent of male and 21 percent of female survivors reported receiving victim support services (information, emotional  support and other resources).”

Lee said the coffee sleeves were created to counteract that because a large reason why the number is so low is because people don’t know what services they have available to them or they think it might not be helpful.

SRVSS provides a support system to students who have gone through any type of sexual or relationship violence. They provide resources to aid students in making their own decisions while having someone to lean on and ask questions to throughout the process.

The office is open to anyone, and Lee encourages everyone to stop by and see where they’re located and become familiar with SRVSS.

Lee said even if you are not impacted by sexual violence right now, you can be informed for future instances if it happens to you or someone close to you.

“We’d love to raise awareness about sexual violence but also let people know about the center. We really just want to make sure people know we’re there and we’re there to listen.”

SRVSS has events all throughout April for students to attend, including student-led discussions and activities.

The SRVSS office is located in the Williamson House at 1200 East Main Street behind the Center for the Performing Arts.

Chloe Forbes is a feature writer. Contact her at [email protected].