Sexual Assault

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In December 2012, two UNC female victims of sexual assault spoke up about what they said was a deeply rooted problem with the University’s handling of sexual misconduct — one that they said was inappropriate, time-consuming and traumatic.

Those allegations drove three current students, one former student and one former administrator to file a complaint against the University with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, alleging that UNC facilitated a hostile environment for victims reporting sexual assault.

The complaint, which was obtained by The Daily Tar Heel, is centrally concerned with the way the University treats victims of sexual assault. The 34-page document also features allegations that the Office of University Counsel pressured Melinda Manning, former assistant dean of students, to underreport cases of sexual assault.

The University, though limited in its response because UNC has not yet received the complaint, countered Manning’s accusations. Administrators claimed that the University actually reported more cases of sexual assault than Manning submitted to the University Counsel’s office.

These accusations by sexual assault victims have since sparked a widespread conversation about the way sexual assault is handled on campus. The University has hired Gina Maisto Smith, a national consultant and expert on sexual assault.

To help bring the University into compliance with the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter, the University has also hired Ew Quimbaya-Winship to serve as UNC’s Deputy Title IX Officer, or student complaint coordinator, starting March 11.

Colleges will soon report stalking, date violence

Stalking, domestic violence and dating violence are about to see increased attention from the University.



College rape cases hard to prosecute

Every time a sexual assault case comes across his desk from UNC, Jim Woodall really has to think about the definition of consent.



More student groups push for men to get involved in gender violence prevention

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The sound of hundreds of heels on the brick walkways of Polk Place preluded a serious conversation about interpersonal violence prevention last Thursday.



Students can come to college without understanding of consent

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UNC freshman Matt Wotus graduated high school without ever having had a formal lesson about consent to sexual activity.



Department of Education on campus investigating UNC's handling of sexual assault

U.S. Department of Education investigators have arrived on campus, looking for student input as part of an inquiry into UNC’s handling sexual assault.



New draft of UNC's sexual assault policy criticized by task force

The Sexual Assault Task Force met Wednesday to revise the most recent draft of the University’s new sexual assault policy.



Assault sanction talks progress, task force suggests punishments be open-ended

UNC’s Sexual Assault Task Force is moving forward in deciding the types of punishments to give offenders.



Sexual assault task force talks sanctions

As members of the Sexual Assault Task Force begin their discussion of sanctioning — the latest phase of policy reconstruction — they’ve amped up their meeting frequency.



UNC faculty often untrained on student mental health

Though conversation surrounding sexual assault and mental illness at UNC has increased during the last year, there is still no required training on the subjects for faculty and staff members.



Administrators discuss sexual assault policy progress

One year later, 85 percent complete.



UNC graduate student Katie Akin talks sexual assault with Joe Biden

Last week, UNC graduate student Katie Akin met with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., to discuss policy actions to protect students from sexual assault.



UNC student petitions White House for a student on sexual assault task force

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Many of the leading advocates in UNC’s fight against sexual violence are survivors of assault themselves. And if one of those leaders has it her way, there will be a survivor on the federal government task force aimed at addressing the nationwide issue.



DPS adapts to UNC sexual assault reforms

When it comes to reforming sexual assault policies, UNC’s department of public safety is linked to every party involved.



Title IX sees influx of new hires

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UNC’s Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office is overflowing with new Title IX hires.

Hilary Delbridge, the Title IX public communications specialist and most recent hire, said jokingly that she has the largest office in the building — the conference room.



Obama announces sexual assault task force

Sexual assault on campus has been the subject of scandals at UNC and other universities in recent years — and on Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced a task force to tackle the national issue head-on.



From survivors to strategists

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It’s a movement that was born at UNC — and in spite of UNC.

A year ago today, Andrea Pino, who was a junior at the time, and Annie Clark, a 2011 UNC graduate, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights alongside three other women.



New Title IX department leader arrives at UNC

Since three federal investigations were launched into the University’s handling of sexual assault last year, UNC’s full-time Title IX office has gone from nonexistent to five positions.



Sexual assault task force reconvenes

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Under UNC’s current sexual assault policy, “consent” is defined in four sentences. But UNC’s Sexual Assault Task Force’s current draft of the policy has defined the term in 14 sentences. The task force hopes the changes will make the policy specific enough that survivors of sexual assault won’t have to research terms and definitons on their own.



Sexual assault questions remain unresolved

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In the year since multiple federal complaints have thrown UNC into the national spotlight for its handling of sexual assault cases, the University has taken tangible steps toward repairing its policies.



NC fine-tunes student lawyer policy

Although the law allowing students to hire attorneys in student conduct cases passed more than four months ago, its implications on fairness in student-versus-student cases are still not clear.