After four years, Susan Marine departs

by Wendy Yu | 10/31/00 6:00am

When the Class of 2000 graduated in June, one member was left behind.

On Nov. 10, Coordinator of the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program Susan Marine -- who was so popular with the class that they adopted her at Commencement -- will also say farewell to the College.

After four and a half years of raising campus awareness of sexual abuse issues, heading the Sexual Abuse Peer Advisor program and counseling students in need, Marine will move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work at the Public Health Department as the coordinator of Domestic Violence Prevention Programs.

"I feel very good about the time I've spent here," Marine said. "I feel that the College continues to grow in its awareness of [sexual abuse] issues."

Marine made the decision to leave Dartmouth six weeks ago and started to interview for a variety of positions.

She said her reasons for leaving were twofold -- she wanted to seek new challenges in a different environment as well as to join her many close friends in the Class of 2000 in the world beyond Dartmouth.

"I was very close to some members of that class," Marine said. "When they graduated, I felt a very real sense of loss ... I felt really ready to leave after they left."

When she first arrived, the Class of 2000 were first-year students, she noted. When the '00s graduated, Marine detected a feeling of closure, and needed to move on.

Also, Marine wanted to further her career, which she said could not happen at the College anymore.

"I love Dartmouth, I love working here. I very much enjoy students at Dartmouth and the work I do with them, but my job here has run its course for me," she said. "I'm ready to take on a new challenge."

Despite this obstacle, Marine said she will miss the students and sense of community at Dartmouth.

Her favorite memories are the annual 'Take Back the Night' marches in Spring term.

"I really gained so much inspiration and peace from going to 'Take Back the Night' every year in April," Marine said.

When she thinks of Dartmouth, she will always remember standing in the vigil circle of students holding lit candles, which amazed and inspired her, she added.

She said she is in awe of the many students who have experienced sexual abuse and succeeded at life despite their personal difficulties, which she found "remarkably inspiring."

"Sexual abuse is still a problem, but we've come a long way in the 10 years since [the Sexual Awareness Program has been] founded."

Marine said she had achieved some of the goals she set herself when she arrived on campus, including developing the peer counseling program, making sure students are treated fairly and justly in the Committee on Standards process and expanding the support system for victims of sexual abuse.

"But there's a lot of work that remains to be done," she said, noting that she particularly wanted to see increased participation of men in sexual abuse prevention and figuring out ways to minimize alcohol abuse, which can often lead to sexual abuse.

Her new job in Cambridge will be similar to her post at the College.

"That's my mission in life," she said, adding that she is very committed to the cause of violence prevention.

For now, the College is deciding how to accommodate the vacancy created by Marine's departure.

According to Marine, a national search will be conducted to find a new coordinator in January. Between November and the selection of the new coordinator, either a temporary advisor will take over the position, or the work will be distributed to other members of the Women's Resource Center.

"I just want us to decide what will happen so I can move forward," Marine said, adding that students will have no difficulty obtaining the resources they need because the College is committed to making sure no-one feels gap in the level of support available.

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