Sexual misconduct group’s role expanded, made permanent

· 4 min read

Sexual misconduct group’s role expanded, made permanent

City Campus

A University of Nebraska–Lincoln collaborative charged with improving sexual misconduct education, training and policy on campus has been made permanent.

Due to its positive impact on campus, Chancellor Ronnie Green has expanded the role of the Campuswide Collaborative on Sexual Misconduct, elevating and renaming it the Chancellor’s Commission for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct. It will continue to be led by Susan Swearer, professor of educational psychology and a licensed psychologist, and work in collaboration with Student Affairs, Title IX and Academic Affairs.

“As a collaborative, this group provided a critical report that has helped our university address institutional gaps and improve our efforts related to sexual misconduct issues,” Green said. “To help maintain that momentum and, as part of our larger commitment to better support victims of and protect the campus community from incidents of sexual misconduct, we are making this group a permanent commission.

“I look forward to their continued excellent work.”

The original collaborative group was modeled after similar initiatives at other Big Ten universities (including Indiana, Rutgers, Illinois, Maryland, and Purdue). It included representation by students, faculty, staff, and the community. Learn more about the collaborative.

“The work of this group has been extensive — generating a report that included 35 specific recommendations — and we are fortunate to have so many faculty, staff and students committed to ensuring that our university is a safe and supportive campus community,” Swearer said. “Our immediate next step is to meet in-person as a commission and to prioritize recommendations for the chancellor.

“We know we can do more and our goal is to use data-based decision-making to inform our prevention and intervention efforts.”

Since the collaborative’s report was released in December 2020, the university has successfully implemented 15 of the recommendations, is working to meet 17 others, and is studying the feasibility of the remaining three. Read more about the collaborative’s progress.

Green announced the permanent commission as part of a broader Sept. 1 address to the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska. During the meeting, Green outlined seven specific measures to better support the campus community in the event of sexual misconduct incidents. Other measures announced include repurposing Neihardt Hall into a one-stop resource that will include the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education, Women’s Center and LGBTQA+ Center; doubling the number of professionally trained advocates who work with victims/survivors; further expansion of the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education; and improving concerns regarding existing sexual misconduct training.

“These actions are first steps based on what I’ve heard from students, faculty and staff,” Green said. “I am committed to doing more and to having an ongoing dialogue with students across our campus community.”

While pursuing its work, the new commission will continue to follow best practices as outlined by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ “Culture of Respect: CORE Blueprint.” The publication is a strategic roadmap designed to address sexual violence on university campuses.

The commission will comprise 22 members (listed below), including the chair and four ex-officio positions. The commission will meet at least once per month and terms of service are a year with the possibility of renewal.

Chancellor’s Commission for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

Chair — Susan Swearer, Educational Psychology

Students — Meyri Ibrahim (undergraduate), Political Science and Black Student Union; Jessica Stump (undergraduate), Political Science; Taylor Woodsmall (graduate student), Political Science and Women’s Center

Faculty — Lorna Dawes, University Libraries; David DiLillo, Psychology; Katie Edwards, Educational Psychology; Kelly Herstein, Engineering and Faculty Senate; Shari Stenberg, English

Staff — Aaron Dueker, Campus Recreation; Ryan Fette, Institutional Equity and Compliance; Kelli King, Student Affairs; Kenji Madison, Fraternity and Sorority Life; Alice Mitwaruciu, Counseling and Psychological Services; Sue Moore, Student Advocacy and Support; Anna Pressler, Raikes School of Computer Science and Management; Pat Tetreault, LGBTQA+ Center and Women’s Center; Jamie Vaughn, Athletics

Ex-officio — Laurie Bellows, Student Affairs; Meagan Counley, Title IX; Marc Pearce, Institutional Equity and Compliance; Mike Zeleny, Chancellor’s Office

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