|January 20, 2023Students:|
Thank you to all who attended last night’s Town Hall. I both appreciated hearing from you and felt personally impacted by those who took the opportunity to share their stories. Your bravery and strength are clear and compelling. Now is an opportunity for us to support you better and with the care and compassion you should expect.
As I mentioned last night, I will be naming a broad coalition of the University community, including students, parents, staff, and faculty, to review our current practices and develop sexual assault awareness activities and interventions for our entire University community. This group will be led by Dr. Gwen Scott-Jones, Dean of the Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and senior social work major Rita Williams. You can expect an announcement of the full coalition at our next follow-up meeting, which we will schedule for next Friday morning at 11 a.m. in the MLK. In the short term, you will see more immediate actions:
Assigning Deputy Chief Joi Simmons as the Sexual Assault Awareness officer. Deputy Chief Simmons has extensive training in sexual assault education, investigations, and victim / survivor services.
Upgrading our security to include lighting throughout the main campus and DSU Downtown – including the emergency blue lights system.
Ensuring that our Public Safety escort service is fulfilling the needs of students.
Enhancing our camera utilization on campus and in the residence halls.
Extending counseling hours to M–F / 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. through the end of February, at which point we will reassess our regular hours.
We also have virtual health services available through ChristianaCare-GoHealth Urgent Care, https://www.gohealthuc.com/dte/christianacare/desu. I have also asked Dr. Pam Adams, Director of Spiritual Life and University Chaplain, and Dr. Michelle Fisher, Associate Vice President of Campus Health Services, and her team to coordinate special support groups for students who are survivors and/or allies.
Convening the first in a series of mandatory sensitivity trainings for the entire University Community throughout the remainder of the semester. We will build this work into our annual training routines.
I want to emphasize that these are initial steps, aimed at immediately improving our current practices. We will work closely with the coalition as we build out our long-term plan. As we continue on this path forward, I strongly encourage you to report any incidents of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault to our Title IX office, Public Safety, or any University official. In addition, you can always call our newly created anonymous hotline at (302) 857-6866. The hotline will be monitored daily.
Tony Allen, Ph.D.
Categories: Campus News
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