The University has created a 21-member task force to review and enhance its policies and procedures for handling student-on-student complaints of harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination.
Ann Penn, the University’s Equal Opportunity/ADA Officer, appointed the task force to review the current policy (campusconversation.web.unc.edu/policy/), which was revised in 2011-12 in response to new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to colleges and universities nationwide.
“We have assembled a talented group of students, faculty and staff to assist us in this effort,” Penn said. “The task force will follow guidance from the Office for Civil Rights and build on the recommendations of Gina Smith, a national expert on sexual assault issues who has been working with us to gather input and identify opportunities to improve our policy and procedures. Together, we will find the best solutions for Carolina.”
Christi Hurt ’93, who was recently named interim Title IX coordinator and is on leave as director of the Carolina Women’s Center, will chair the task force. Other members are students, faculty, staff and a local expert who bring extensive experience or research expertise related to tackling the emotional and complex issues involving sexual assault.
“The input we’ve received from students and others will be invaluable as we move forward to improve our efforts to address violence, harassment and discrimination on campus,” Hurt said. “We will incorporate that feedback into our review of Carolina’s policy and processes.”
The task force will meet throughout the summer and present its recommendations to Penn. The task force members are, in addition to Hurt:
Serving ex-officio, in addition to Penn, is Winston Crisp ’92 (JD), vice chancellor for student affairs.
The University said that during the task force’s work, the Campus Conversation about Sexual Assault website (campusconversation.web.unc.edu/) will continue to be updated. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and others may submit ideas to the task force through the site’s virtual suggestion box.
Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 cited the task force announcement by Penn as one more strong indication of progress on this issue in a May 1 campus email to students, faculty and staff (campusconversation.web.unc.edu/2013/05/01/message-from-the-chancellor-update-on-campus-response-to-sexual-assaults/).