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Delivering News From The Source

Be Decent Takes Action Through Peer Advocates

Students participating by holding supportive signs against domestic violence

By Hannah Wagner

Be Decent is a student run, grassroots organization designed to raise awareness of, and provide resources for people suffering from mental, physical and sexual abuse at Waldorf.

The club itself aims to bridge the gap between peers and the university, and to create a safe and welcoming environment on campus.

Jacobi Popp, founder of the club, came up with the idea a couple of summers ago, and was able to get it started in the fall semester of 2018. 

Her Vice President, Grace “Gary” Huizenga, came up with the name, on the basis that they aren’t asking very much of people, just that they be decent to one another.

“We aim to help those who may not feel comfortable going to the university about their abuse,” Popp says. 

“We provide resources like peer advocates—students trained in how to help those who have experienced traumatic events and direct them to the resources available—and self-defense courses, among other things.”  

According to the Healing Abuse Working for Change website, 21% of college students report having experienced violence by a current partner and 32% of college students report experiencing dating violence by a previous partner.

With domestic violence and other abuse happening virtually everywhere, Be Decent gives those who have experienced it a platform to open up and those who want to help a place to do so.

“Be Decent isn’t for any one group of people. We have involvement from people of all types of gender, race, religion, and background.” Popp says.

“We encourage anybody and everybody to help in whatever way we can.  With enough effort and passion, we can work together as a community to help improve the lives of our fellow students.”

With Popp being passionate about the subject, she hopes others will join her journey in making Waldorf a more safe and welcoming place.