With new changes to the sexual misconduct policy that was updated at the start of the academic school year, University of Richmond will host a town forum event Wednesday with the hopes of educating the campus community on these changes, Beth Curry said, who is the coordinator for sexual misconduct education and advocacy on campus.
This forum, which is identical to the forum that took place earlier in the semester on January 21, is open to all students, faculty and staff members, and is aimed at publicly announcing these changes and promoting questions and discussions regarding them.
One of the student governments’ goals is to bring more awareness to sexual misconduct, WCGA president, Nathalie Ivers said.
“This is a forum to reach out to students if they want to know more about the policies, what the changes were and generally how the process works,” Ivers said. “A lot of people don’t really know what the policies are. And since it was changed it’s a good time to let people know.”
The policy, which had been a three-page document but is now more than 30 pages, was lengthened to further clarify and provide more specificity to sexual misconduct policies on campus, Curry said.
Members of WCGA and RCSGA, both of which sponsored January’s town hall event and will also sponsor tomorrow’s event, made up the bulk of student attendance at January’s event, something Curry hopes will change this time around. In order to increase attendance from the student body, the event was scheduled to occur after midterms and spring break but before April, finals and senior events begin.
“There is nothing new that has happened between the last one and this one, it is just the timing” Curry said. “…hopefully more of the campus community will come.”
Juliette Landphair and Joe Boehman, the deans of Westhampton and Richmond colleges respectively, will open the forum with a short introduction. Title IX coordinators Daniel Fabian and Kerry Albright Fankhauser will then discuss how the policy has changed and offer a brief explanation of the reporting and investigative process. Curry will then speak on the mission and role of the Sexual Awareness and Prevention Coordinating Committee.
Student questions and discussions, which are expected to dominate the majority of the forum, will then be opened.
“Generally this is there for students to ask questions and to have more of a discussion so that everyone knows what the changes were and what the policies are,” Ivers said.
The forum will be held in the Gottwald Auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.
“The institution has a lot of investments in this issue of creating a safe learning environment for everybody” Curry said. “And this is one of the ways we want the campus community to know we’re invested in this issue and are doing everything we can to make it clear what our policies are. And that sexual violence of any type is not tolerated at University of Richmond, and at the same time we want to make it clear we have a supportive structure in place for victims or survivors.”
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