The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday March 30th

Kansas State lawsuit sparks conversation about off-campus sexual assault

Two women are suing Kansas State for failing to investigate their alleged sexual assaults because they occurred at two fraternity houses located off-campus.

But UNC-Chapel Hill doesn’t change its procedures based on where the alleged assault took place, said Hilary Delbridge, spokesperson for the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office.

“The procedures for addressing an incident of sexual assault under this policy are the same regardless of whether the incident occurred in a residence hall, at a UNC-Chapel Hill affiliated Greek house located in an off-campus area or in an off-campus house,” she said.

And for UNC-CH’s neighboring Duke University, the same holds true, said Joe Gonzalez, dean for residential life at Duke.

Morgan Pergande, president of the UNC Interfraternity Council, said UNC’s IFC is making efforts to prevent sexual assault and raise awareness. The IFC revised their constitution Monday, mandating new IFC members and every current and future executive member to participate in sexual assault awareness and prevention training.

He also said the IFC created “party policies” last year, including wristbands, bouncers at the door and sober members, to try to ensure safer events. Pergande said these rules must be followed, whether or not the fraternity house is located on or off-campus.

Jason Tidd, assistant news editor for The Collegian, Kansas State’s student newspaper, said the lawsuits have sparked a conversation about university policy regarding sexual assault on campus.

“Everybody would say that rape is bad. And everybody already knew that,” he said. “But the difference with this is that it’s the policy of not investigating off-campus rape. And I don’t think anybody really thought about that as an issue before, except for the people who it affected.”

But Tidd said the converstaion has been productive.

“I’d say the most rewarding aspect is seeing the campus community unite and wanting to change the policy,” he said.

Pergande said UNC’s IFC must be a national leader in sexual assault prevention, particularly because of the issue’s prevalence in Greek life and on campus.

“One sexual assault is too many sexual assaults.”


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