Secretary of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council Allison Vogt is joining Rice University under the new role of Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Title IX Support. Vogt began her new position on Nov. 1. 

With a master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston, Vogt previously worked at the Montrose Center, an LGBT wellness center in Houston that provides aid to the LGBT community. At the Montrose Center, Vogt worked with victims of domestic violence, hate crimes, human trafficking and sexual assault. Amongst Vogt’s duties at the Montrose Center were hospital and police accompaniment, shelter placement and education. Vogt said she believes her experience with the small and diverse Houston LGBT community translates well to her new position at Rice, another small and diverse community.  

“Having worked with the LGBT communities, I learned the importance of community advocacy and organizing,” Vogt said. “I feel these principles can [be] translated to the diverse students at Rice.”

At the Montrose Center, Vogt was originally hired as an HIV case manager but later transitioned to helping with the anti-violence program. Vogt helped expand the Montrose Center’s anti-violence program by organizing community awareness about the presence of domestic violence, sexual assault and how to prevent violence in the community. However, Vogt said she credits the program’s success to community involvement.

Similarly, Vogt believes the programs at Rice for healthy relationships and sexual violence education will succeed only if Rice students get involved. 

“We need students to give us feedback about programming and inform us about what’s happening on campus,” Vogt said. “We want to get students involved so we can meet students’ needs. We want the prevention program to be student informed and student oriented.” 

Vogt said she wants Rice to set the standard for universities across the country by becoming a campus known for its safety, with students who know how to live in an anti-violence community. 

“I would love to see Rice University’s students carry on the message of the program into their professional lives — creating cultures in their companies of being sexual violence and harassment free,” Vogt said.

As the new Director of Sexual Violence Prevention, Vogt said she aims to connect Rice students with influences that can translate into their lives and equip them with the proper education. 

According to Vogt, the plan to achieve these objectives is to create programming that focuses on the topics of sex, sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as defining what consent is. 

“The programming is geared towards giving students the tools they need to be well educated and aware of sexual violence, in addition to carrying out healthy relationships in their personal lives,” Vogt said. 

According to Vogt, her department primarily wants to properly educate and prepare students for their lives after Rice. 

“[We want to] teach students how to have healthy relationships,” Vogt said. “We want to keep [the] campus safe and teach students how to exist in an environment with no sexual violence.”