RSVP Center and The Maneater switch offices over summer

With increasing Title IX funding, the RSVP Center needed more space to accommodate their three new staff members.
The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center is now located at the former office of The Maneater newspaper. The two organizations switched places in the lower level of the Student Center, the first switch in the building since 2010.

After the end of the Spring 2015 semester, The Maneater and the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center switched places in the lower level of the Student Center, the first switch in the building since 2010.

The switch took place to accommodate the RSVP Center's expansion as three new staff members have been hired due to an increase in Title IX funds, Director of Student Life Mark Lucas said, who coordinated the switch. Funding was provided by the UM System with matching funds from the four campuses to expand Title IX.

It was after much deliberation that he decided to have the two organizations swap offices. The Maneater moved down the hall to room G210, and RSVP now occupies the more spacious room G216.

The RSVP Center, which provides educational programs and services to students in an effort to decrease the prevalence of sexual violence on campus, will now have more space to expand their operations as they bring on new full-time staff members. The new staff members will fill two new roles as advocates and educators at the RSVP Center, said Lucas.

Previously an MSA/GPC auxiliary, the RSVP Center became a part of the Department of Student Life in 2014. Now working on expanding their operations with the larger space, the RSVP Center plans to house all of their staff as well as their student groups and organizations in the same location.

“Educational programming, group meetings, advocacy meetings and prevention activities will all be held in the new RSVP Center comfortably and more privately than in our previous location,” RSVP Center Coordinator Danica Wolf said.

Due to the confidential nature of the work that the RSVP Center often conducts, Lucas made sure the RSVP Center would be able to stay in the same office suite as they grow, rather than be spread throughout campus.

“I took the approach that I wanted to put The Maneater in a position where they could remain successful, enhance their operations, and I used the same approach with RSVP,” Lucas said. “There were only so many moves I could make, and I think this is one I’m OK with.”

Although in a smaller location than their previous office, The Maneater adviser Becky Diehl said she looks forward to the fact that their new office will be more visible and inviting to those who walk by. The Maneater began their transition into the new space at the end of the semester and finished before Summer Welcome sessions for incoming students began in June. They are still waiting on a few more pieces of furniture to complete the move.

“It has been great to show our new office space to all the new freshmen and parents during Summer Welcome,” Diehl said. “Right now we are excited to start the new year off in our new space.”

The RSVP Center hopes to be fully settled in before classes start in August.

Lucas said this is the first office switch to take place inside the Student Center, which opened in 2010. However, this isn’t the first time that office changes have been made for either organization on campus. In the 23 years that Diehl has worked at the paper, The Maneater has moved five times.

“The moves have been easy but expensive for both,” Lucas said.

There is no final total on the cost of the move for the two offices as purchasing furniture and painting still needs to be completed.

He said the switch would have ideally been a “win-win” situation, but instead turned out to be a “win-acceptable” situation. Still, he is confident the switch will work in favor of both organizations.

“I don’t think it’s a better situation for The Maneater, but having been down there just a few days ago, it’s actually pretty nice and I think it’s going to be just fine for them,” Lucas said.

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