University of Richmond administration announced via email on Jan. 6 that all returning students would be required to exchange their existing student ID for an updated version.

The university gave all students new ID cards with the Greater Richmond Sexual Assault Hotline and the phrase “Honor & Integrity,” printed on the back, to remind students of the honor code.

In an email sent on Oct. 7, President Crutcher outlined the ways in which the University would work to improve its sexual violence prevention and response efforts. He mentioned in the email that new IDs — with the number to the hotline run by Safe Harbor for survivors of sexual assault — would be issued, as one step in making said improvements.

“We are making more prominent the 24/7 hotline for survivors, as well as the way to reach on-call deans’ office staff at night and on weekends," Crutcher wrote in the email. "Students will receive new University ID cards with these numbers printed on the back by the beginning of the spring semester.” 

Renata Harrison, a leader of the student group Spiders Against Sexual Assault and Violence (SASAV), supports the administration’s decision to update the ID cards, but feels there is more that needs to be done.

“While I think the hotline number is a step in the right direction, I am most excited to see the larger institutional changes President Crutcher announced,” Harrison said. “It’s good to make students aware of available resources in the event that they or a friend are sexually assaulted, but a serious effort toward preventing sexual assault from happening is imperative to student well-being.”

The new Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisors (PSMA) program is one such effort by the university to impede sexual misconduct and support survivors. PSMAs are selected through an application process, serve as confidential student advisors and can be reached through the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline on the back of the new student IDs.

Alexandra Abreu, a peer sexual misconduct advisor, said that although the group had no input in the decision to issue new ID cards, the updated IDs would benefit the university community. 

“We haven’t received any calls yet, but having the PSMA program accessible through the hotline number on the ID will make it easier for students to reach out,” she added.

The ID exchange began on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and continued through Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Contact reporter Claire Mendelson at claire.mendelson@richmond.edu