By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer
Every Tuesday, KCC students can find faculty members’ Cindy Melim, Brooke Conway, Devon Peterson, and Paxon Chang at a table spread with brochures that contain information regarding the resources that are available on campus. Talk Story Tuesdays, held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at different locations each week, allow these women to spread awareness of their roles at KCC and the services they provide to help and support students going through difficult times.
With the next Talk Story Tuesdays event happening Tuesday in the Mānele building foyer, here is what these four counselors and coordinators want students to know about the resource they represent on campus and how cases can be reported to them.
Domestic Violence (ʻIliahi 125)
Paxon Chang, who started working at KCC as the new domestic violence advocate at the start of Spring 2019, holds counseling sessions with students experiencing intimate partner violence. Coming from the Domestic Violence Action Center, Chang brings her confidential services from this non-profit organization to help people find appropriate channels that handle domestic violence cases.
“My services are offering emotional support, connecting folks with resources on and off campus … so just being there to kind of walk them through those processes related to whatever abusive situation they’re in,” Chang said.
During sessions that can last from 15 minutes to as long as three hours, Chang assists students who are going through situations involving dating violence, domestic violence within families, and long-term dating relationships.
Aside from doing counseling sessions for those currently experiencing relationship violence, Chang said she also speaks with students who open up about past trauma. Her services go on to even educating those about the elements of a healthy relationship.
To schedule an appointment, Chang can be reached at email@example.com or (808) 228-9878.
Mental Health and Wellness Center (ʻIliahi 118)
Coming on board as KCC’s first mental health and wellness counselor in Fall 2018, Cindy Melim provides a confidential space for students to express and receive guidance regarding any mental health and well-being issues. She works with students to gather an understanding of the situation they are going through, leading to the development of a plan to overcome it.
With the circumstances of each situation varying, Melim said students who visit her office will oftentimes just vent knowing that they are in a safe space to calm down, while others may already feel safe but are just seeking answers and additional resources to turn to. In some cases, deeper therapy will take place for instances such as continuing issues since childhood.
To promote the idea of healthy well-being while improving mental health, Melim partnered with individuals of KCC and the community to hold weekly campus events free for students:
- Mondays from 12 to 1 p.m.: Essential Oils in the Lama Library lobby and Mid-day Mele at the Great Lawn.
- Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Meditation in the Char Room (second floor of Lama Library)
- Thursdays from 12 – 1 p.m.: Mind-Body Exercise in the Char Room (second floor of Lama Library). Each week alternates between yoga and tai chi.
Melim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 734-9585 for an appointment.
Prevention Awareness Understanding (PAU) Violence Coalition (ʻIliahi 201)
Brooke Conway serves as one of the co-chairs for the PAU Violence Coalition, a group of KCC students, faculty, staff and community partners that works together to address and prevent sexual and gender-based violence. The group is primarily known for hosting educational workshops and conversations with students to bring awareness to sexual respect and how it ties in with Title IX, especially during its semesterly campus event, Respect Week, which will be held on April 2 and 3.
For students looking to express trauma they have experienced regarding sexual abuse or gender-based violence, Conway said she serves as a counselor in Confidential Space in ʻIliahi 201, where she provides services that help and allow students to report misconduct.
“Sometimes it’s really just supporting them emotionally and providing resources that are on or off campus for students to take care of themselves, and prioritize that self-care before they make a decision about reporting,” Conway said.
Reports can be made online through Confidential Space’s page on the KCC website. In the case that students are unsure of who to report to, Conway is able to help make referrals to resources available on and off campus.
Conway can be reached at email@example.com or (808) 734-9503.
Title IX (ʻIliahi 116)
As the coordinator of Title IX, a federal law that protects those from being denied an education based on their gender identity while also addressing sexual discrimination, Devon Peterson works to find solutions for students who report incidents involving misconduct.
Instead of holding counseling sessions, Peterson helps students through services that involve finding additional resources and providing accommodations such as having a security escort while going to class and allowing an excused absence to file a police report. For misconduct that is occurring directly on campus, Peterson said an investigation will take place to rectify the situation.
Students can directly report to Title IX through the online form under its page on the KCC website or meet with Peterson to discuss pathways to take regarding other reporting processes or seeking further help from counselors on campus.
Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 734-9542.