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OUPD partners with Survivor Advocacy Program to host Sept. 4 Coffee with a Cop

Event flanked by opening of survivor-themed art exhibit and panel discussion


To encourage conversation and interaction with campus law enforcement in a casual atmosphere, the Ohio University Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop events throughout the academic year.

Coffee with a Cop is a way for students and community members to speak to police officers in an open, inviting environment.

OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan said that during the events, OUPD officers would like the community to feel comfortable to approach them, discuss questions or concerns and have conversation about whatever is on their minds.

“It is a community engagement program to allow people to get to know police officers in a more informal setting; the community is encouraged to interact and ask any questions,” Ryan said.

Coffee with a Cop emerged after OUPD Lt. Eric Hoskinson saw a flier for a similar event sponsored by the San Francisco Police and proposed the idea to the department. With more than a handful of events behind them, the OUPD plans to continue to hold Coffee with a Cop once or twice each semester. 

This year, OUPD also teamed up with the Survivor Advocacy Program, the Campus Involvement Center, and the Women’s Center to host the first Coffee with a Cop of the semester from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 4, outside of the Trisolini Gallery in Baker University Center. It will feature the exhibit, “What Were You Wearing?” a survivor art instillation.

The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation was originated at the University of Arkansas in 2013. Created by Jen Brockman and Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, the project was inspired by Dr. Mary Simmerling’s poem, “What I Was Wearing.” Using descriptions of clothing that was worn when survivors were sexually assaulted, organizers find clothing that closely mirrors those descriptions.

“The exhibit will be tailored to Ohio University and the surrounding areas and will be geared to dispelling these myths that whatever people were wearing is any excuse, justification or rational for sexual violence,” said Dr. M. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center.

The exhibit, in conjunction with Coffee with a Cop is “a way of creating a long-term conversation about survivor experiences,” Dr. Murray said.

The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation will be open for viewing from Aug. 30 to Sept. 13, in the Trisolini Gallery located on the Baker Center fourth floor. It is supported by the Women's Center, Survivor Advocacy Program, Campus Involvement Center, the College of Fine Arts, Trisolini Gallery, Ambassadors to the Survivor Advocacy Program, Student Senate and Intersectional Feminist Alliance.

An opening reception for the free art exhibit is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at Trisolini Gallery. Ohio University President Dr. M. Duane Nellis, College of Fine Arts Dean Dr. Matthew Shaftel and Director of the Survivor Advocacy Program Kim Castor will make opening remarks at 6 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. 

Additionally, there will be a panel discussion held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the Baker University Ballroom. Questions for the discussion will be collected inside the art exhibit leading up to the night of the discussion.

For more information about the events connected with the “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit, contact the Women’s Center at 740-593-9625. For further information about Coffee with a Cop, contact OUPD at 740-593-1911.