Updated: 09/28/2013 11:16 PM
Created: 09/28/2013 7:00 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
It's a story that shocked the College at Brockport campus and raised awareness about domestic violence in our community. Sunday marks one year since the death of freshman Alexandra Kogut.
Her boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, is charged with beating her to death in her dorm room.
News10NBC has been looking into how the college has made changes and increased awareness of relationship violence in the last year.
This issue of preventing domestic violence is something that has always been a top priority to staff at the College of Brockport, but after last year's tragedy both students and staff have added reason to educate and protect everyone on campus.
“This is a sad anniversary for our campus and we clearly feel that and our goal is prevention and that's where we focus now,” said Lubby Caruso, Health Counseling and Outreach Services, the College at Brockport.
That focus can been seen in a number of ways, from a painting given from another college to show their support for what the Brockport community went through, to the opening of a new center called The Center for Select Respect.
“It is an area that we have dedicated to looking toward healthy relationships and minimizing violence within intimate partner relationships, domestic violence, which ever you want to call it,” said Caruso.
They have also seen an increase in student involvement in the mission to prevent domestic violence. The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is a yearly event, but even more students participated after Kogut's death last year.
Students aren't just willing to walk to stop violence.
"We have seen a lot more student engagement in our programs and the atmosphere in those programs has shifted a little bit. We used to present lots of information to students, lots of facts, lots of statistics, but now we have students that engage back with us. They want to have the conversations about how we dissect these issues in our own community," said Josh Fegley, Assistant Director of Prevention Outreach Services and the Women's Center at the College at Brockport.
Fegley says he has seen firsthand why it is so important to focus on educating everyone from students, to faculty and staff about the warning signs of domestic violence.
“We see people that may make it through their time at Brockport and never have to address these topics, but we also see students who are worried about a close friend, worried about themselves, so educating everyone upfront and early on in their college career really creates this environment where our students, faculty and the staff are really looking out for each other. They are aware of the services on our campus and they know how to intervene in a situation that could be risky, dangerous or unhealthy,” said Fegley.
The College at Brockport says they also have focused on training staff, faculty and student leaders on campus to understand warning signs and know the resources available so they can identify and help someone they feel could be in a dangerous situation.
Whittemore's trial is expected to be in early November.