The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 9th

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

Phrasing and organization

Undergraduate Sarah-Kathryn Bryan recommended cleaning up what she called slippery language.

She said the words “remedies,” “sanctions” and “support,” all frequently mentioned in the draft, need to be more clearly defined.

Christy Lambden , former student body president, also was concerned about the classification of potential sanctions.

“I wouldn’t include removal from University housing or specific courses in (the severe sanction) section,” he said. “I don’t classify that as a severe sanction. Suspension from the University or expulsion, that’s a severe sanction.”

Severe sanctions

“If we come to a position where the person will be permanently suspended or expelled, is there a way to put out some kind of warning label?” Professor Karen Booth asked .

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp said information regarding prior permanent suspensions and expulsions is available within the UNC system via an online database and probably could not be hidden from non-system schools.

“It’s highly unlikely that they’re going to get through somebody else’s admission process without them knowing that they’re not in good standing at the school they previously attended,” Crisp said.

Notice of outcome

Several members criticized the stipulation that the reporting party will only be informed of sanctions against the responding party that directly relate to them, such as a no-contact order.

Title IX Coordinator Howard Kallem said full release of sanctions would be impossible due to FERPA.

After discussion about the trauma that the reporting party could experience from not being told of sanctions against the responding party, task force coordinator Christi Hurt summarized a new goal.

“It seems like there’s a lot of will in the group to discuss disclosing as much as we possibly can,” she said.

Supports

Kiran Bhardwaj, former graduate student federation president, said discussions organized by Lambden earlier in the year brought up concerns regarding disproportionate representation of parties in hearings.

In the most recent draft, students may have up to three people present as support: a university-affiliated adviser trained by the Office of the Dean of Students , an attorney and another person for emotional support.

Members of the task force questioned whether the reporting and responding parties would be aware if the other had all three people, particularly an attorney.

“We don’t want people bringing a knife to a gun fight,” Bhardwaj said.

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