UNL Chancellor announces steps to combat sexual misconduct on campus
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Following a week of protests and calls for change, University of Nebraska - Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green released numerous steps he hopes will help combat sexual misconduct on campus.
Hundreds of students have been protesting outside the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) house for the past couple weeks after a sexual assault was reported there on August 23.
The following days were full of protests and calls for change, as more people stepped forward and shared stories about their experience with sexual assault on UNL campus.
On Wednesday night at a meeting with the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska, Green outlined a number of measures he calls the ‘first steps’ of improvement.
“These actions are just first steps based on what I’ve heard from students, faculty and staff,” Green said. “I am committed to doing more and to having an ongoing dialogue with students across our campus community.”
The outlined measures are as follows:
- Doubling the number of CARE advocates, which are professionally trained employees who support victims/survivors and help them navigate campus and community resources. The advocates — which will expand from two current positions to four — are part of the university’s Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE).
- Increasing support for CARE to help advocates focus on helping victims and developing contacts with outside resources, including Voices of Hope.
- Creating a director of education on sexual assault within CARE. The position will be responsible for developing and implementing education and training programs for the university community.
- Repurposing Neihardt Hall into a wellness center that includes new, more accessible facilities for CARE, Women’s Center and LGBTQA+ Center.
- Examining an expansion of mental health supports on campus, including resources for Counseling and Psychological Services.
- Addressing student concerns regarding existing sexual misconduct training and implementing a new plan by fall 2022. Green said the trainings will be mandatory and include bystander training and affirmative consent details.
- Working with the university’s Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Faculty Senate and developing a syllabus statement on sexual misconduct.
“When I woke up and saw the protests, to be honest, I struggled with them personally,” Green said. “But, these protests are a good thing — your chance to be a tremendous force for change. I encourage all of you to use your voices and be the agents of change you want to see,” Green said.
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