An Hour in the Cavern

By Mallika Mitra

S3A Continues to look out for students through their Cavern hours that they host during the week.

Pop into the Cavern located in the basement of Stetson Chapel, Sunday through Thursday from 7pm to 9pm, and you will find a member of the Sexual Safety and Support Alliance, S3A, ready to talk during their cavern hours.

According to Katie Thiry ’14, who has been an active member of S3A since the spring of her Junior year, cavern hours are “an opportunity for students to have a confidential meeting with members of S3A, where they can talk about sex, relationships, life, anything they really have on their mind.”

The members are trained listeners, who can make students aware of their on and off campus resources, Thiry added.

“We are a resource you can seek out that isn’t as daunting as a report,” said S3A member Fiona Evans ’16. “If you wish to do that [report], we can advocate for you and navigate you in that direction, but if you don’t want to do that, that’s fine.”

Evans continued to say that cavern hours give students a confidential resource for those who just want someone to listen. This is a resource option that may push for action, but one that’s different than a mother or friend.

When it comes to how she wants students who utilize cavern hours to feel, Evans said, “I hope that they don’t feel so ashamed or blamed because in conversations I’ve had, the main thing that comes up is ‘If hadn’t done this’ or ‘If I hadn’t done that.’”

According to Deborah Rose of the Counseling Center, about 10 students, all female, have talked to S3A members this semester.

Isabelle Ciaramitaro’ 16 said she thinks that it important that, even if students don’t use cavern hours all that much, they know that it is a resource that is available to them.

Ciaramitaro went on to describe members of S3A as “sounding boards” for students who need to talk about sex, or life in general.

“I feel connected to the student body,” Ciaramitaro said. “I am helping to create a safe, open community.”

“We wanted to be as accessible to the student body as possible,” Katie Thiry ’14 said. “I feel like it’s something that this campus really needs.”

Both Thiry and Evans said that, although they do not have many students come to their cavern hours, peers who know they are members of S3A have approached them outside of cavern hours.

Email or phones can reach S3A members anytime, and that contact information is posted around campus. The members also sell emergency contraception (Plan B) for $20 and pregnancy tests for $5. All transactions are kept confidential.

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