The Office of Civil Rights submitted a “Dear Colleague” letter in April 2011 with about 70 mandates for the adjudication of sexual assault cases on university campuses across the nation. In response, UNC-CH released a new sexual assault policy on Aug. 1, 2012.
University administrators received feedback from students, faculty and staff regarding the policy and were working to consider revisions when members of the University community submitted an Office of Civil Rights complaint in January.
Concerns have been raised in the past, as highlighted by the Office of Civil Rights complaint, about the University’s treatment of sexual assault survivors.
However, Chancellor Holden Thorp has brought on Gina Smith, an expert on sexual misconduct, to review and improve the University’s policy, its implementation and campus culture surrounding sexual assault.
We acknowledge that the University has historically not been as responsive as students would have liked.
However, Smith’s previous efforts at Amherst College shows she is committed to listening and affecting change.
Smith has held one large student dialogue and several smaller student dialogues with a diverse group of campus organizations.
Any response by the University will take time and incremental steps.
Thus far, Smith has been listening to students and faculty looking for consensus on what issues need redress to see how she can remedy those concerns with the Dear Colleague letter.