Jules Grable: ‘I’m here to serve you’

After holding the position of sexual assault response and prevention specialist for five years, Jules Grable is now the first director of student advocacy. Photo by Faith Delamarter


“I’m not trying to get a building or anything, but if I have positively impacted one student, then I have done my job,” Jules Grable, director of student advocacy, said. “If I have supported one student, then I have done what I’m here to do.” 

Grable formerly held the role of sexual assault response and prevention specialist for the past five years. She assumed the newly created role in October as a result of the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention (SARP) office officially retiring. This change has divided the responsibilities of response and prevention to separate offices on campus. The prevention aspect, which focuses on educating the campus community on topics surrounding sexual assault, finds a new home with Katie Wood, assistant director of Health Promotion. The response aspect, which serves as a resource and advocate to survivors of assault on campus, is now enveloped into SARP’s replacement, the Office of Student Advocacy, overseen by Grable. 

However, Grable does not just advocate for those impacted by sexual assault. She acts as a resource for students who face food, housing and financial insecurity, mental health challenges or anything that prevents a student from living out their college years to the fullest. 

Laying the foundation 

Since assuming her role in October 2023, Grable has set three distinct goals as the director of student advocacy. One of these goals is to continue the Office of Student Advocacy’s education and training for students to aid in creating a “positive and supportive social environment,” Grable said. She aims to accomplish this task by encouraging students to be active bystanders, questioning toxic cultural norms and facilitating a safe and inclusive environment on campus. 

Grable plans to continue conducting training that promotes awareness of interpersonal violence and equips students with social tools to best assess tricky situations. She will also keep her title as a non-mandatory reporter on campus, making her a completely confidential resource for students who are working through an individual crisis. 

Julia Fryrear, a senior sociology-criminology major, worked with Grable in 2022 when she was her sorority’s philanthropy chair to organize different workshops for domestic violence awareness. Now, as the director of mental health and well-being for the Student Government Association, Fryrear continues to collaborate with Grable to bring strategies and discussions on popular mental health topics to campus. 

“She’s the person I go to as a guide,” Fryrear said. “Jules is just someone who I’ve always really trusted. I know if I’m scared that I’m not doing something in the best way, she’s the person who’s always amazing to bounce ideas off of.” 

Grable’s other resolutions focus on student interactions with the Office of Student Advocacy. One of these goals is to teach students strategies to help manage their personal challenges, as well as guide students to the most helpful resources on campus depending on their crises at hand. Furthermore, Grable aims to empower students who have experienced sexual assault and interpersonal violence to choose their own path of healing and reporting. She deems it essential for students to drive their conversations and to learn self-advocacy skills. Grable described her role as a cheerleader in students’ stories, providing support from the sidelines of their lives. 

“I’m not here to solve everyone’s problems,” Grable said. “I’m not that cool. I can’t do that. But what I can do is help give you some tools, techniques and resources and support so that you can overcome your challenge.” 

Getting to work 

Grable said that she has spent an incredible amount of time understanding the complexities of sexual assault and is relatively new to other areas of advocacy that students seek assistance in. However, she strives to achieve a strong comprehension of all realms of student life. 

“I have been very focused on one lens for five years, so I fully understand and have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the sexual misconduct side of things,” Grable said. “But there’s a lot outside of sexual misconduct now, so it’s important to figure out the trends that [university administration] is seeing outside of what I already know. I really want to get the whole picture before I just jump in.” 

In the few weeks that she has held the title of director of student advocacy, Grable has met with a variety of organizations and offices on campus, including the Office of Residence Life, Financial Aid, Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and more. Grable plans to continue conferring with campus partners in order to most accurately understand what specific crises students on this campus face so she can focus more energy on these issues in the future. 

Senior psychology-criminology major Nikki Houck is the former president of Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment, and collaborated with Grable to plan several consent workshops. In an email to The Butler Collegian, Houck said Grable is very dedicated to the well-being of students, making her the perfect fit for the job. 

“Butler hired her as director of student advocacy because of her passion and unwavering support of students,” Houck said. “She really, truly wants to make the world a better place, especially Butler, and she has given so much time and effort to that cause already.” 

Fryrear agreed, and added that Grable has always provided an open, judgment-free zone which she hopes students will continue to utilize. 

“[Grable] just really cares about [students],” Fryrear said. “She makes you feel seen, and I think sometimes that’s lacking in a college environment. It’s hard to remember that the administration sees us as people, and Jules does an amazing job making sure that I’m seen, I’m heard and I’m truly supported.” 

Grable acknowledged that times of crisis arise at all hours of the day, and so she seeks to make herself available as many hours as possible. She encourages students to reach out through email, jgrable@butler.edu, or through a simple call using her number, 317-319-2047. 

“I can’t expect folks to drop everything so that they can meet my schedule,” Grable said. “I’m here to serve you and not the other way around.”


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