UNC faculty discusses sexual assaults

September 12, 2013 1:55:28 PM PDT
For the first time, members of the UNC faculty have publicly discussed how the university handles sexual assaults.

Chancellor Holden Thorp emailed the entire UNC community asking everyone to join the conversation about how to improve the way UNC deals with assaults. The email outlines some changes that have already been made, such as removing sexual assault cases from the jurisdiction of the Honor Court system.

"Sexual assault is one of the greatest challenges facing campuses across the nation, including Carolina, and it is an issue I am committed to addressing before I leave office," Thorp wrote.

All the talk of sexual assaults stems from a complaint that three students and a former assistant dean filed alleging that UNC mishandled reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is investigating the allegations. The school has said it will cooperate fully. Meanwhile, teachers have been meeting to discuss the issue.

"I think the main thing we're concerned with is sexual violence and getting the people who have the opportunity to be heard, but most of all to get the services they're supposed to have," said UNC faculty chairperson Janet Boxill.

UNC has brought in a nationally known consultant on these types of cases. She addressed faculty Friday to outline her recent work.

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