The Towson University Student Government Association (SGA) has gained official recognition as a “Safe Haven,” part of a national grassroots movement to expose human trafficking in local communities. It also raises awareness and provides communities with tools to combat the expansive growth of human trafficking.
SGA members Andrew Voigt, Emma Middleton, Kirsten Wach and Sandra Schenning completed a four-hour training process to help identify the signs, raise awareness, and be able to provide information to others.
Voigt, who is the director of civic engagement for SGA, reached out about receiving the designation because the Baltimore-Metro region is an especially large hub for human trafficking.
“As an SGA, we wanted to find ways that we could make a difference and spread awareness of this,” Voigt said. “As a designated ‘Safe Haven’ the four of us have taken the time to receive training on how to spot the signs of victims and become knowledgeable on the resources for victims.”
The Towson University SGA is the first student government organization in the country to receive this designation. The group is hoping to use the training they received to provide other members of the campus community with more knowledge about human trafficking in their local community.
“This really means that now we have the knowledge and tools necessary to work with student organizations, Greek Life and the student body at large to explain the prevalence of trafficking in the Baltimore region,” Voigt said. “Our proximity to the city as well as our large campus population provide us with the ability to help potential victims.”
Louise Dickson, the volunteer coordinator for the organization in this state, presented SGA with a plaque that commemorates the work of the four members who completed the training program with her on behalf of the organization.
Voigt expressed gratitude for the opportunity to represent Towson University in helping with such a difficult problem in the local community. He also hopes that other student government organizations join the cause.
“This is just another way that Towson University is leading the charge on issues of human rights and civic engagement,” he said. “Our goal is to identify ways to further promote this program on our campus, so that these efforts have an even greater impact. It is our hope that other student governments will join us as we work to abolish a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise.”