Dear Carolina Community:
Earlier this year, Carolina students participated in the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. UNC-Chapel Hill was one of 32 (out of 62) public and private institutions in the association that elected to participate in spring 2019.
The AAU today released aggregate results from all participating institutions. UNC-Chapel Hill has also posted the survey data from our campus. We are thankful for the students who participated in the survey and the AAU’s commitment to helping campuses address these critical issues.
The data are very concerning and reinforce what we know to be true both on our campus and across the country: sexual assault and sexual harassment are serious problems that deeply affect our community. These behaviors have profound physical and emotional effects on the people who experience them and also have lasting impacts on other members of the campus community. And while many of you have been very active in raising awareness and staying engaged in the issue, we need the help of every person — now more than ever — to change our culture.
Over the past five years, Carolina has directed more resources to prevention and response efforts. These actions include organizing a campus-wide Sexual Assault Task Force to revise University policies, hiring additional staff to provide support and resources and strengthening our training programs. This survey is a reminder of the importance of those actions, but also that our work is not done.
In the coming weeks and months, we will direct our attention to strengthening our prevention efforts. Within the next month, we will convene a coalition of students, faculty and staff to help us develop a comprehensive strategy for prevention and awareness that will resonate with students. As part of that effort, we will hold working sessions with subject-matter experts to help improve the University’s prevention programs, consent education and bystander intervention training. Your active engagement on this issue is critical, including your thoughts about how we can enhance and expand trainings and programming.
It is equally important that you participate in available campus trainings about sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. These trainings will help ensure that we are all clear about our policies and expectations, and that you feel empowered to help a friend or colleague in need.
We need collective action to bring about change. Visit safe.unc.edu to learn about the ways you can get involved and for information about confidential resources or reporting options related to sexual assault, harassment and related misconduct.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz
Interim Vice Chancellor, Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement