“We’re only a year in, and it’s certainly a work in progress, and we are by no means finished. Even as we speak there’s a group put together, as was promised, to look at a year deep, to assess what has gone well and what hasn’t,” he said.
Crisp believes the policy is doing what it is supposed to do.
“The number of reports has gone up precipitously; the number of people accessing the services have gone up steeply,” he said. “We have been hard-pressed, frankly, to keep up enough staff and to keep expanding the staff fast enough to keep up with the demand.”
While members of the administration are working to make sure the policy continues to be applicable, accessible and supportive, some survivors don’t agree.
Senior Christine Allison, who had doubts when the policy was released, still sees issues with the policy a year later.
“The new policy actually gives them more power. They get to investigate themselves. They get to decide themselves,” she said.
“It’s just the same people doing the same thing they always have.”
Allison said the policy’s problems arise in the punishment of violators and the ways the hearings are structured.
“When I looked beyond the surface of, ‘Hey, you need affirmative consent,’ it was stuff like, once the decision was made by the University whether or not you could have a hearing, you couldn’t do anything about it,” she said.
Allison said she is worried that the same people are still in charge, but Crisp said this isn’t true.
“Any other people who were still around under the old policy were faithfully operating that policy, and they’re faithfully operating this policy. The new people vastly outweigh the people who were here,” he said.
Andrea Pino, a UNC alumna and the current director of policy and support at advocacy group End Rape on Campus, was one of the first students to call out the old policy for mistreating survivors and failing to process cases.
She said the University has made strides in the past year.
“They’ve gone from no one that focuses on sexual assault to having an entire office as well as others in other offices that focus on sexual assault,” Pino said.
However, she does have reservations about the implementation of the policy and whether punishments are actually being handed out.
“I think UNC should start expelling perpetrators and being clear about that,” she said.
Part of the policy discusses giving continued support to survivors.
Continued support can come in a number of ways, said Mary Covington, executive director for Campus Health Services.
“Sometimes I think that the student would feel more comfortable not being at CAPS and be more comfortable if they met with someone out in the community,” she said.
This support is confidential, and Campus Health has trained staff members to provide examinations and referrals to the right places for support.
Referrals to appropriate support and information also comes from the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.
“When somebody comes forward with a case and they bring forward a report to the Title IX office, the Title IX office and the Equal Opportunity Office, they look at all of the things that a student might need,” Hurt said.
“So they look at housing change, to a class change, to move an exam, change a schedule, and they make referrals for things like going to the law enforcement and medical providers.”
Students interviewed around campus Wednesday were somewhat unclear about the changes in the policy.
“I had to go through (Title IX) training for my on-campus job as an office assistant, so I know that there’s a really big push among campus staff — those who are designated to help report — so that students can have good access to resources, but other than that, I don’t know very much,” junior Brooke Benson said.
As well as being unaware, some students believe the policy changes will not accomplish anything.
“If you’re raised a certain way, I feel like it’s your mindset, like the way you look at the opposite sex or the way you look at sex ... so it’s like a cultural thing as opposed to a policy,” junior Jason Leaning said.
But junior Collette Weinberger said there has been an increase in conversations about sexual assault, which Hurt said she has also seen across campus and the country.