Cincinnati Student Government Appropriates Funds for ‘Comfort Kits’

Kits include worry stones, putty, fidget toys, paintbrushes, journals

Fidget spinners

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The University of Cincinnati student government has appropriated funding for a workshop next semester to teach students how to make "comfort kits" that include items such as worry stones, putty, fidget toys, paintbrushes, journals, and nail polish.

According to the bill passed on Wednesday, the kits will "provide support and comfort to survivors of gender-based violence and others who feel like they need it," the independent student newspaper, the News Record reported.

The program will be run on Jan. 24 by a non-profit sexual violence advocacy organization called Women Helping Women.

At the same meeting, the student government also approved funding for a local bartenders training program to "educate and empower bar staff to intervene and prevent any violence they might see," according to the report.

Bar staff will be trained to "read danger situations" and know how to intervene when someone "might be in danger of sexual assault," student government president Bashir Emlemdi told the News Record.

Women Helping Women will be running that program as well, which will include 10 to 12 hours total over three to four sessions of teaching bartenders how to identify "tells" in dynamics between men and women of abuse or assault.

Intervention methods bar staff will be taught include responding to covert appeals for help, such as a patron ordering an "angel shot" or "asking for Angela."

Undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus of the University of Cincinnati pay are required to pay an annual campus life fee of $514 per year.

The university's line item description of tuition fees describes this charge as covering "various recreational and entertainment facilities and programming that can be utilized by all students to enhance the campus environment and increase student engagement."

The student government did not immediately respond to inquiries about how much funding for the Women Helping Women programs has been drawn from tuition.

Such comfort and "self-care" programming is not unique to Cincinnati. Following the 2016 presidential elections, the University of Michigan law school and Plymouth State University held events that allowed students to destress from President Donald Trump's win with Play-Doh, coloring, and bubbles.

Rachel Frommer

Rachel Frommer   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Rachel Frommer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon reporting on campus issues, including anti-free speech and anti-Israel activity. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was the senior campus correspondent at The Algemeiner. Her work has been picked up by Fox News, Newsweek, and the New York Post. She graduated from Touro College in 2016 with a BA in English literature. Her Twitter handle is @Rachel_Frommer, and her email address is frommer@freebeacon.com.

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