Heather Horton — photo by Vernoica Spann

When Heather Horton arrived at Colorado College, she had her work cut out for her.

The school had recently changed its policy and position on sexual assaults/violence, and it was her job to not only gain the student body’s trust, but also to walk them through these new policies. As

the Sexual Response Coordinator, Heather Horton worked closely with many student groups and became a friendly face all around campus.

Now she is stepping into an even larger role, becoming the Director of the Wellness Resource Center, which will help oversee mental health at CC. In her new position Horton hopes to promote a more “holistic approach to wellness.”

Horton will continue to work with student groups such as SOSS, GROW, SPILL, and QCC, but will also focus on creating new programs and groups that either have not existed before on campus or have not been particularly consistent, especially mental health promotion, stress management, and substance use and abuse.

“I feel like we’ve made progress as a campus in terms of students feeling some trust in both the position as well as our policy and procedures,” said. Horton while reminiscing about her former job. “The number of reports on campus have increased, which I think is a sign that [students] know there are the available resources.”

Horton is arguably most noted for launching a program that educates students about bystander intervention in the form of the BADASS Campaign, which encourages students to be active members of the community and intervene in situations that look potentially dangerous for themselves or others.

“Heather is one of the strongest, passionate, and most caring people I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Nikki Kaufman, a senior and member of SOSS. “Her job is probably the most difficult at Colorado College, yet she seldom receives the recognition she deserves. In a society where I often feel there is no hope for eradicating rape culture, Heather continuously gives the CC community hope.”

Senior Ariana Glantz, co-chair of QSA (now QCC), has worked with Horton in Campus Activities and feels similarly.

“She is able to span both the negative and positive realms; listening to her speak about rape and domestic violence is harrowing, while discussing what kind of condoms and flavored lube to put in the Safe Spring Break bags is hilarious,” said Glantz. “I hope that she is well known around campus as a great resource because she has truly worked to improve [campus-wide] knowledge.”

As Horton begins this next chapter of her CC career, she hopes to bring in speakers, hold meetings over a number of topics, make referrals for mental health, and create new student groups for chronic illnesses, amongst many other initiatives.

“I want to create and enforce a holistic model of wellness that will help students to think about the ways in which different aspects of their lives are connected,” said Horton.

In the brochure introducing the Wellness Resources Center, the seven domains of wellness are listed: intellectual, socio-cultural, emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental, and career/financial.

Horton is interested in hearing from students about what they need so that all will be able to maximize their success on campus.

“Community is a big part of individual wellness and vice versa,” said Horton.

The college has placed an application online in search of a new Sexual Assault Response Coordinator to fill Horton’s soon-to-be vacated position.

For more information on the Wellness Resources Center please contact Heather Horton at hhorton@coloradocollege.edu or 719-389-6211.

Kiki Lenihan
Guest Writer

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