A call for a revised sexual assault policy

TO THE EDITOR:

We are concerned by the recent student and staff allegations that cases of sexual misconduct were mishandled by members of the University.

In particular, we are alarmed by claims that certain administrative offices and individuals at the University have knowingly or unknowingly violated assault survivors’ rights through complacency, lack of proper education or training, and/or intentional intimidation.

The Progressive Faculty Network urges Chancellor Holden Thorp and Provost Bruce Carney to respond promptly to these allegations that the University has failed to properly address sexual assault and harassment cases at UNC.

More specifically, we call on them to create a university-wide committee — with strong representation from survivors and allies, and including students, staff and faculty — to initiate a comprehensive review of policies as well as alleged misconduct.

As faculty, we strive to foster a supportive and safe learning environment for all.

Such an environment must include individuals who are equipped to ensure the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of the campus community as well as policies and procedures that guarantee the safety of everyone at this University.

We therefore urge Chancellor Thorp and Provost Carney to take the Office of Civil Rights complaint seriously. We are committed to ensuring that UNC continues to be a model of quality public higher education for all students, as well as a just employer for staff and faculty.

This letter was endorsed by 39 members of the Progressive Faculty Network of UNC.

Trude Bennett
Professor
Maternal and Child Health
Gillings School of Public Health

Minrose Gwin
Kenan Eminent Professor
English and Comparative Literature

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