By Amanda Dorn
Prevention work is something Susan Stahley, the new substance abuse and sexual assault prevention coordinator on campus, is passionate about.
“I believe strongly in not only informing people how to be safe but in encouraging others not to be bystanders, to step up and act to help someone in need,” she said.
Stahley, who joined the Rider staff in January, began her education for prevention as a student assistant counselor in a high school in Norfolk, Va. She continued her journey and gained experience in the workforce at George Mason University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte as the substance abuse education coordinator.
Upon graduating with a bachelor’s in social work from the University of Georgia, Stahley moved to Hawaii and obtained her master’s in social work.
“I am originally from New York, but I love to travel and live in different places,” Stahley said.
Living in different cities prepared her to pursue her passion of helping people. She moved to New Jersey on Jan. 10 of this year and joined Rider just a few days later.
“A move to New Jersey to be closer to family and obtaining a position at Rider was a perfect fit for me,” Stahley said.
She looks to offer students support and information on how to stay protected.
In any situation regarding alcohol, drug use or sexual assault, there is always someone to talk to, she said. She wants to remind students that they are never alone and there is always help in reach. She has experience working with young adults regarding their drug and alcohol abuse. Some young adults need limited help while others need to find different forms of treatment.
Stahley intends to help students learn more about helping those who are in recovery, and connect for additional support.
“My goal is to form student groups to assist me in this endeavor and encourage students to contact me to share their interest in helping this happen or to volunteer at various events,” Stahley said.
She will be collaborating with both Lawrenceville and the Westminster Choir College campuses for those in need. Dean of Students Anthony Campbell has worked with Stahley to come up with a clever name for the program, “A.S.A.P.” The acronym stands for “alcohol/drug and sexual assault prevention.”
“If you see someone in trouble, act A.S.A.P. to help them,” Stahley said.
Jeremy Garcia, a senior marketing and advertising double major, believes that having a substance abuse and sexual assault prevention coordinator on campus is a great idea.
“It helps a lot of people,” Garcia said. “Friends of mine have gone there and it seems to help them. It’s a place to gain information and it isn’t as scary as some may think.”