Inaugural director of the MSU Victim Options in the Campus Environment (VOICE) Center
A Montana State University committee successfully submitted a DOJ grant in 1996 to fund a department addressing sexual violence on campus. The position of the inaugural director was filled by Christian Sarver in 1997. Sarver created an extremely effective and successful program with minimal support and resources. Her experience working with a statewide sexual and domestic violence network for victims, in addition to her brilliant mind, tenacity and ambition, helped develop a program that remains tremendously successful. The Victim Options in the Campus Environment (VOICE) Center quite literally changes and saves lives. Its work helps retain students by offering advocacy at a most crucial juncture, and the staff strives to change the narrative of victim blaming through not only victim advocacy, but also through education, events and programming. Sarver’s hard work creating a viable program through enlisting, training and managing volunteers; successful grant-writing and national networking; designing training for law local enforcement and university administrators; paving avenues for access to students through residence life, orientation and academia; and forging lasting relationships highlighting the necessity of the VOICE Center at MSU made Sarver an invaluable addition to our staff.
Christian Sarver is the one to ultimately thank for the existence of MSU’s VOICE Center as her unyielding perseverance and determination alone built what is currently a critical part of student services at MSU.