The Title IX Task Force will continue to hammer out changes in the University’s harassment and discrimination policy this fall, but several changes outside the policy process have already been put into effect.
In the coming months, faculty, staff and students will have access to online training about Title IX requirements and there will be a campus-wide emphasis on preventing all forms of violence. “We have been working throughout the summer to develop trainings, protocols and appropriate responses across all levels of campus,” said Christi Hurt, interim Title IX coordinator and task force chair.
With a new Title IX team – Hurt, deputy coordinator Ew Quimbaya-Winship and investigator Jayne Grandes – in place, reports of gender-based harassment and discrimination coming from anywhere on campus will be quickly directed to a central location. The team will be able to respond right away to the needs of victims, offering remedies like counseling, no-contact orders or class changes even before an investigation begins. They will also be able to direct students to resources both on and off campus, like the police or the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, depending on their needs.
These changes will be reflected in the Safe@UNC website, currently being updated to make reporting options clearer, especially for students.
While most of the University was on summer break, the 22-member task force met almost every week, sometimes for a full day of discussion, reviewing reams of documents and constant updates from the Department of Education about University responsibilities under Title IX.
Although the task force focused on student-on-student reports for this phase, members of the Employee Forum attended meetings to provide feedback on some policy issues that would also affect employees. The task force is also incorporating feedback received this spring and is looking at examples of policies from other schools.
“The members of the task force have been extremely dedicated in their efforts to craft a policy that meets federal requirements yet is uniquely suited to the Carolina student body,” said Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources, who took on the additional duties of supervising the Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office after Ann Penn’s retirement this summer. “I am confident that this thoughtful and inclusive group’s recommended changes will ensure that the policy meets the needs of our diverse campus.”
The task force will present its recommendations to Malone and Chancellor Carol Folt.