An Overview of SARAH Recruitment
December 12th, 2021
The SARAH recruitment cycle opens every fall to gain new members that will be trained the spring of that year. All students are allowed to apply as long as it is not their last year at WashU and they are not studying abroad that coming spring. The application process consists of three major components: a written application, a group interview, and an individual interview.
The written application is the first step in this process because it provides a space for applicants to introduce themselves. In this written portion, we ask applicants to answer questions about intersectionality and peer-counseling so that we can learn more about their views on the world and our work. On our end, SARAHs review these applications and decide which applicants should be sent to the next round; applicants are only removed at this point if they share something problematic or if we are aware of misconduct (more on this in the next paragraphs).
The group interview follows so we can see how each applicant interacts with others, specifically in the context of conversations about sexual assault. Through various activities, we gauge an applicant’s respect for others, cooperation, and listening and critical thinking skills. We apologize for the vague language here, but we cannot give more details about the group interview because we do not want this memo to prepare those who read it at the expense of those who do not. After this round, we reassess each applicant and conclude if they should move on to the individual interview round.
During this stage of the recruitment cycle, applicants are being vetted by every office in the school. Due to our connections with the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center, our advisor is the one who looks over the official profiles of all applicants. It is crucial to note that we access every possible channel to vet our applicants, but we also recognize that records of misconduct are not always reliable or complete in that they only account for what has been reported. We do our best with the information we are given and evaluate applicants accordingly. In the case that an applicant has violated university policies, no student in SARAH is told the details. Rather, our advisor simply notifies the three members of the Recruitment Team so that that applicant is no longer considered for admission into our group.
Thus, the individual interview is reserved for applicants that meet our values and standards. The individual interview provides the opportunity for an applicant to share their thoughts with us in a more private setting. After all individual interviews conclude, all members of SARAH spend a weekend reviewing the applicant pool. Every applicant that made it to the individual interview round is discussed and voted on. Additionally, an applicant is only accepted into the group if they receive all “yes” votes. This method of speaking about every applicant and accepting only those who are unanimously voted in is lengthy, yet needed to select those who are best suited to become peer-counselors. Our recruitment process ensures that we accept qualified candidates from our community to support the WashU student body.