CARE hires temporary survivor advocate while continuing search

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern’s Center for Awareness, Response and Education has hired a temporary sexual assault survivor advocate as the office continues searching for permanent replacements to fill its two vacant full-time positions.

Carrie Wachter, a clinical therapist who has worked at Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago, will step in as the coordinator for sexual violence response services and advocacy. The position was previously held by Eva Ball.

Lisa Currie, who oversees CARE as the director of Health Promotion and Wellness, told The Daily last month the office would experience a “gap in services” this quarter as the University tries to hire replacements for Ball and Laura Anne Haave (formerly Stuart). Ball resigned for family reasons at the end of Spring Quarter, and Haave, who was CARE’s sexual health education and assault prevention coordinator, left NU in August to take a position at Carleton College.

Wachter is currently undergoing training and will begin at CARE next week.

Currie said the demand at universities across the country for positions related to sexual violence makes it difficult to find a qualified candidate to permanently work at CARE.

“It’s a buyer’s market, which means the candidates really have their pick,” Currie said. “It makes it very competitive for us because it leaves Northwestern competing with a smaller pool of candidates. There’s an excess of positions and not enough candidates.”

Currie said the University found a desirable candidate this summer, but she decided to accept a promotion and salary increase from her current university.

Wachter first came to CARE’s attention in the spring, when Ball recommended her as a potential candidate, Currie said.

“(Wachter) is a really good fit for our needs,” she said. “She has a great personality that students will connect with and knows her stuff when it comes to sexual violence response and prevention.”

Currie said Wachter will mostly do individual meetings with students, rather than work on campus policies and procedures. She said it’s crucial to have a full-time staffer who “understands the constants that exist on a campus.”

CARE plans to roll out more advertising for the office’s positions this week and hopes to fill them permanently by Winter Quarter. In the meantime, Currie said, Wachter will be available to students Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

On Sept. 19, the University received a nearly $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to expand sexual assault prevention efforts on campus. NU plans to use the money to hire a coordinator of men’s engagement for CARE, who will work with male survivors and male-focused student groups.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Wachter’s work history. Wachter has worked at Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago. The Daily regrets the error. 

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