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Safe Space Coalition

safe space coalition logoThe Safe Space Coalition assesses University safety protocols, campus policies, and response services that deal with sexual assaults, domestic violence, harassment, bullying, mental illness, and health-related matters. It will submit recommendations to the President, monitor implementation, and regularly report out to the broader University community.

Equally important, strategic committees have been formed—to work in parallel with and report into—the Safe Space Coalition. 

Safe Space Coalition Year 2023/24 Updates

I. Safe Space was developed on January 24, 2023.

The coalition was developed as a call to action to assess Delaware State University’s safety protocols, campus policies and response services that deal with sexual assaults, domestic violence, harassment, bullying, mental illness, and health related matters. Delaware State University is committed to creating a safe space for all members of its community. The Safe Space Coalition (SSC) will consist of a core group of staff, faculty, and students who will meet frequently to implement evidenced-based safety protocol, provide recommendations to improve service delivery and response, review campus policies, identify prevention strategies and campus-wide safety interventions. After the core group met to understand SSC’s purpose and intent, steering committees were formulated to include stakeholders, community partners and subject matter experts.  

  • We established a core group of staff, faculty, and students, who were appointed by the President.
  • The core group established 9- steering committees comprising staff, faculty, students, parents, and community members. Steering Committee are:
    • Campus Health
    • Counseling and Prevention
    • Communications and Customer Service
    • Employee Awareness and Safety
    • Facility and Management Committee
    • Judicial Affairs & Title IX Committee
    • Project Resources and Funding
    • Public Safety
    • Student Awareness, Engagement and Safety
  • The Core Group meet each Friday at 2:00 pm
  • Steering Committees have set up standard meetings.
  • The Campus Health, Counseling and Prevention Steering Committees have collapsed into one Steering Committee, called Counseling and Prevention as of September 2023. There are now 8- Steering Committees:
    • Counseling and Prevention
    • Communications and Customer Service
    • Employee Awareness and Safety 
    • Facility and Management Committee
    • Judicial Affairs & Title IX Committee
    • Project Resources and Funding
    • Public Safety
    • Student Awareness, Engagement and Safety

II. Action Items Completed

  • In January Dr. Eleanor Kiesel and Ms. Kim Graham applied for a sexual assault prevention grant from the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault. The $300,000 grant was awarded.
  • The University held several virtual and in-person forums to update the DSU community, students, and parents about our approaches to keeping our campus safe and to solicit feedback.
  • Had several community outreach prevention events such as the Sexual Assault Prevention Conference and 5K walk.
  • DSU identified Deputy Chief Joi Simmons as the Sexual Assault Officer.
  • DSU increased overnight security presence on the Main and DSU Downtown Campuses.
  • Implemented a 24/7 escort service for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Implemented 100% ID Checks at the main gate after 5:00 pm.   
  • Assessed and verified that our 1,000 + external lights on campus are operational.
  • Blue lights were installed and tested across Main and DSU Downtown campuses.
  • There were mandatory sensitivity trainings provided for staff, faculty, students and DSU public safety officers.
  • Extended hours for campus counseling and health centers.
  • Added virtual health services and behavioral health talk therapy through Christiana Care-Go Health Urgent Care.
  • Judicial affairs participated in various campus-wide events presenting with prevention education on drugs & alcohol. In addition, they met with several departments regarding the updated Student code of conduct handbook.
  • Students, Staff and Faculty have access to customer service portal and the DSU HUB App to communicate.
  • Established a Student Mental Health Ambassadors Program under the DSU Trauma Academy. Students are trained in Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR), which is an intervention designed to follow Psychological First Aid (PFA).
  • Had Title IX Trainings for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Established the DSU Hope House, located on the DSU Downtown Campus. The DSU Hope House will host various activities for wellness and prevention (e.g., yoga, Circle Up, psychoeducational groups).

III. Coalition Priorities FY 23-24

  • Sexual Assault and Misconduct
  • Drug and Alcohol Use on Campus
  • Public Safety
  • Well-Being, Bullying, Victimization and Violence
  • Professional Development for SSC/Administration
  • Safety and Wellness Programming for Students w/Campus Activities
  • How to incorporate safety and wellness prevention in first-year forums.

Safe Space Coalition Conference

Purpose of a Coalition

  • A diverse group of individuals and organizations who work together to reach a common goal.
  • That goal often includes one or more of the following:
    • Adapting, creating, or developing public policy
    • Influencing people’s behavior
    • Building a healthy community

Core Group & Steering Committee Expectations

The Core group is responsible for the following:

  • Developing the coalition’s purpose, mission, goals, objectives to ensure that safety matters and services are addressed appropriately.
  • For pooling resources, improving communication, revitalizing DSU’s community to be aware surrounding matters that threaten campus safety.
  • Creating policies and procedures that will become annual quality assurance measures.


  • Rita Williams
    Graduate Student in the MSW Program, SGA
  • Trinity Clark
    Junior Psychology, Social Work Major and GIVE President
  • Samara Benjamin
    Graduate Student in the MS in Clinical Psychology Program, GIVE Organization
  • Ms. Dionne Williams
    Graduate Student Assoc. President
  • Mr. Kyle Sheppard
    Doctoral Candidate, Education


  • Colonel Vaughn Bond
    Former New Castle County Police Chief Alumnus / Retired Law Enforcement Professional
  • Ms. Tamaira Wilkes
    Retired Law Enforcement Professional


  • Dr. Gwen Scott-Jones, Coalition Chair
    Dean, College, Health & Behavioral Sciences
  • Ms. Kim Graham
    Director, University Trauma Academy
  • Dr. Eleanor Kiesel, Esq. 
    Associate Dean, College, Health & Behavioral Sciences
  • Deputy Chief Joi Simmons
    Public Safety / Sexual Assault Awareness Officer / Alumnus
  • Chaplain Pam Adams
    Director of Spiritual Life & University Chaplain
  • Dr. Mark Parisi
    Executive Director of Counseling Services
  • Mrs. Pamela Gresham, Esq.
    Executive Director, Labor Relations & Diversity
  • Ms. Mijrane Belizaire, Esq.
    Coordinator, Title lX
  • Dr. Michelle Fisher
    Associate Vice President, Campus Health / Student Counseling
  • Dr. Wanda Anderson 
    Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Dr. Terrell Holmes
    Associate Vice President, DSU Downtown & Strategic Initiatives / Alumnus
  • Mr. Kyle Adams
    Deputy Athletic Director
  • Ms. Shenequa Harris
    Executive Director, Facilities Management
  • Mr. Kimeu Boyton, Esq.
    Assistant Dean, College of Humanities, Education, & Social Science

Working Committees

  • Counseling & Prevention
  • Public Safety
  • Employee Awareness & Safety
  • Campus Health
  • Judicial Affairs & Title IX
  • Communications & Customer Service
  • Facilities Management
  • Project Resources & Funding
  • Student Awareness, Engagement, & Safety