On Friday, we made another records request for the information and, this time, we were joined in the request by eight North Carolina media outlets, Fusion and the Student Press Law Center.
UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office released a 2014-15 annual report that described the outcomes of sexual assault cases that year in an extremely broad way — for example, it listed all the “sanctions and corrective actions” that had been issued in the past year, but it didn’t say how many people received any of the consequences. For the outcomes of cases involving students, the report didn’t break apart “policy violations” from “voluntary resolutions.”
In the report, the University said getting more specific would risk identifying people.
We say getting more specific is essential. I badly want to know how many people my school has found responsible for sexual assault and what consequences those people are getting.
The Greensboro News and Record is one of the organizations joining us in our request. On Friday, the News and Record’s managing editor, Steven Doyle, told a DTH reporter why he believes the records should be public.
“I don’t think universities can hide behind laws to pretend to privacy when the crimes are so egregious and the dangers are so great,” he said.
He’s right. Sexual assault is a violent and serious crime. We are a newsroom full of college students at a moment when a significant portion of students will be sexually assaulted before graduation — we do not need to be reminded why this matters.
We’re taking on the fight for access because we believe you deserve to know what’s going on.
The Daily Tar Heel is one of the freest student newspapers in the United States. We don’t take any money from UNC, and we are proud of that because of moments like this — moments when we get to hold the University accountable.
UNC has an Oct. 28 deadline to respond to our request. We’ll keep you posted.
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