When it comes to reforming sexual assault policies, UNC’s department of public safety is linked to every party involved.
From working with national efforts to UNC-system and University level reforms, the department has had to adapt to the changing conversation just as every other department has.
Last week, President Barack Obama announced a national task force to examine the issues surrounding sexual assault on college campuses.
“We’re all constantly changing. The environment, the approaches are evolving,” said Randy Young, spokesman for UNC-CH’s Department of Public Safety. “It’s part of what this task force charged by the President and work groups charged by the system are looking into.”
From Nov. 1, 2009 to Nov. 13, 2013, 31 sex offenses were reported to DPS. University leaders are trying to inform students about their options when reporting sexual assaults.
“I hope that people don’t feel at all nervous or concerned about how DPS operates,” said Ew Quimbaya-Winship, UNC’s deputy Title IX coordinator. “They’re a great partner, one more door for students to walk through.”
Christi Hurt, director of the Carolina Women’s Center and chairwoman of UNC-CH’s Sexual Assault Task Force, said there is a connection between DPS and campus offices, and each needs to communicate available services, such as counseling, to students.
“We’re also making sure no matter where they report, whether DPS or the University, there is a full menu of services available,” she said.
A systemwide campus security initiative was announced last June by UNC-system President Tom Ross that focuses on, among other topics, sexual assault policy and reporting.