Boise State Students Champion Efforts to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

By on February 15, 2012

Your old wireless phone can be a lifeline for a victim of domestic violence. That's the message students at Boise State University are sharing as part of their UHopeLine partnership with Verizon Wireless.

Boise State is one of more than 55 colleges and universities across the country to take part in the program and the first in the west to establish the UHopeLine program.

Other colleges taking part in the program include: Idaho State University and the University of Idaho, Rutgers University, Penn State University and Florida State University.

As part of the program, students collect no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories on campus. Devices are then provided directly to shelters or agencies that support victims of domestic violence, or recycled or refurbished and turned into support for victims of domestic violence.

Since 2001, HopeLine® from Verizon has collected more than 9 million phones and awarded more than $14.2 million in grants to support agencies that raise awareness of domestic violence and aid in its prevention.

“It is a top priority for Boise State to provide a campus environment where those dealing with domestic or dating abuse have the support and resources they need to improve their situation,” said Bob Kustra, president of Boise State University.

The UHopeLine program is just the latest step in Boise State’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the issue of domestic and dating violence. In addition to monthly collection drives with student volunteers, the university continually looks for new ways to enhance the program.

“We are making UHopeLine a big thing on campus – with campaigns involving faculty and staff as well as our students,” said Rick Jung, director of development at Boise State. “We include news of the program on university websites, involve the athletic department on game-day phone collection drives, provide program updates at executive meetings and make it a priority to develop UHopeLine special events to raise awareness.”

Since January 2011, the university has increased the number of on-campus phone recycling bins from three to five and enlisted the support of a growing number of campus organizations. And in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the school’s Homecoming Committee implemented a phone collection and recycling competition among campus fraternities, sororities and student groups resulting in more than 500 devices collected – and a renewed awareness of domestic and dating violence issues.

Bring UHopeLine to Your Campus: visit www.verizonwireless.com/uhopeline  to access resources, join the conversation on social media, and find out more information on the program.