| 03.20.2018

Void in violence prevention – Dean of Students Office seeks to fill vacant position


The Dean of Students Office is searching for a new coordinator for Violence Prevention Programs after Virginia Solan resigned earlier this semester.

University of Idaho Dean of Students Blaine Eckles said Solan”s role was to educate the UI campus about bystander intervention and protecting victims of violence.

Eckles he said he is proud of the work Solan did for the university.  

“It”s never ideal when a staff member chooses to leave for whatever reason, because you miss their friendship and the collaborative opportunity to grow with them,” Eckles said.

Eckles said so far, Solan”s resignation has posed few challenges. However, the Green Dot safety program, a bystander intervention training program Solan started at UI, has been put on hold.

UI student Jessy Forsmo-Shadid has worked closely with Solan on the Green Dot program and in the Office of Violence Prevention. She said she is anxious for someone to fill the position.

“I know people here on campus dealing with violence in general and they aren”t getting the help that they need,” Forsmo-Shadid said.

She said she knows firsthand Solan and her position are a valuable resource on campus, and hopes it doesn”t stay vacant for long.

“I don”t think people really know who to talk to if they are in an unsafe situation or know a person in an unsafe situation,” Forsmo-Shadid said. “The key person to talk to about violence on campus is gone, so I think that”s why I”ve been kind of irritated with the process of getting a replacement.”

Eckles said he hopes someone will be found by the end of the spring 2016 semester, but he said the position may not be filled until summer.

Eckles said the Dean of Students office will advertise the open position in the next couple of weeks on a local and national basis. He said as they move forward with their search, they will look for someone who is both passionate and communicative.

“The ability to engage in dialogue with students about very sensitive topics is not easy to do, but you need to do so in a way that encourages people to continue the conversation,” Eckles said. “You want people who are energetic and excited about the work they do.”

Eckles said though he is sad to see Solan go, he is also excited to bring someone new into the Dean of Students office.

“Anytime there is a change in any position, it creates a new opportunity for growth and learning,” Eckles said. “It”s an opportunity to reinvent and get some different perspectives and ideas in.”

Jessica Gee can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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