NKU’s sexual misconduct policy to undergo changes

NKU’s sexual misconduct policy may be seeing some changes, which would go into effect as early as July 1.

The policy, which went under review at the beginning of April, was open to students, staff and faculty for comments and opinions about the changes being made.

“We are trying to develop a sexual misconduct policy that is the same for students, faculty and staff,” Ann James, associate dean of students and Title IX coordinator, said.

According to Kathleen Roberts, the senior advisor to the president for inclusive excellence, the policy was inconsistent between students, staff and faculty.

“Now it will all be in one place,” Roberts said. “The policies weren’t completely in alignment with Title IX and the violence against women act, so we have been working to revise it.”

Roberts says that to meet the Violence Against Women Act the policy must now also contain information about dating violence, stalking and domestic violence.

James believes that putting all of the policies into one document will make it easier for students, staff and faculty to know where to go if they do become a victim of sexual assault.

“We just took everything and put it into one place so that everyone would know where to find it,” James said. “That was the biggest change, that all the policies are in one place. We shouldn’t treat students differently than we treat staff or faculty when it comes to sexual assault.”

While the reporting policy is still under review for faculty and staff, James and Roberts say that the reporting policy for students will probably stay the same.

Students, who are a victim of any form of sexual assault, are urged to report the incident to either university police, health, counseling and student wellness or the norse violence prevention center for immediate assistance.

According to James, at the norse violence prevention center students do not have to report the incident to receive counseling or advocacy regarding sexual violence.

In 2014, the student summer orientations began requiring that all new students participate in an online program called Haven that covers NKU’s sexual misconduct policy, so that students become more aware of the rules and consequences.

Every student enrolled at NKU is expected to follow the rules and guidelines of the sexual misconduct policy.

“By being enrolled as a student you are responsible for the code of student rights and responsibilities,” James said.

Both James and Roberts hope, that students will become more aware of sexual misconduct with the new policy and the new resources that are available.

“As a university, sexual assault is not something that we are trying to run away from or hide from,” James said. “We hope that by making these changes and these resources more easily available to students that they will become more proactive in preventing and standing against sexual assault.”