Demand DSU Enact Meaningful Reforms Against Sexual Assault NOW.

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Earlier this year, Delaware State University students protested after receiving news of yet another case of sexual assault on campus—the fifth since the school year began. Students said that campus officials and law enforcement had a slow and ineffective response to reports of assault. Many students expressed this issue was part of a much larger problem with campus police. In response to the students’ protest, university officials agreed to create a Safe Space Coalition to address the systemic issues of how sexual assault and harassment is addressed at DSU.

Despite the creation of the Safe Space Coalition, students have expressed concern that progress has been slow and university officials have yet to adequately address safety on campus. Students have pushed for several reforms that help create a campus environment that allows students to live and learn free from violence and harassment.

A safe campus is a right guaranteed by Title IX and DSU administration must follow all the regulations and policies required by state and federal law. Currently, Title IX requires that DSU must not only work to respond to prevent gender-based violence, but respond to reports in a timely and impartial manner and maintain good communication with survivors during this process. This means informing survivors of their rights in terms of reporting or not reporting the incident, informing survivors of counseling services, and making proper accommodations for survivors. Following these requirements is the bare minimum; DSU can and should go above and beyond to ensure every student is able to live free of fear of harassment or assault.

DSU must show real commitment to substantive change now.

Students have laid out a clear list of reforms calling for:

1. Revised standards and practices for effective response to sexual assault;

2. Public reporting of how sexual assault cases were handled as well as oversight by a community body with at least 50% student representation, so that administration and campus law enforcement can be held accountable for poor responses;

3. Continued education and training for campus law enforcement, administrators, faculty, and students on how to respond to sexual assault and harassment;

4. Increased diversity among campus law enforcement officers, particularly more women;

5. Increased mental health services including more peer student counselors and the addition of licensed therapists on campus;

6. New Title IX regulations will be released in 2023 and the DSU administration must complete a full and comprehensive review to make sure that DSU is in full compliance with all the rules and regulations. The review should include student voices in the process and the right for public comment on any proposed policy or process changes. The status and findings of this review must be shared with the DSU student body and larger community;

7. Invest in staff and specific programming devoted to preventing sexual assault and harassment; and,

8. University budget transparency- particularly for the campus law enforcement budget.

We need you to send a message to DSU administration, urging them to commit to meaningful reform in the University’s response to sexual assault by acting on student’s reform recommendations as soon as possible.

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Your Message
Use the form to send a message to DSU officials, demanding meaningful reform NOW.

I support Delaware State University students demanding meaningful reform from DSU administration and law enforcement. As the University hosts the upcoming Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Conference on April 25, I look forward to sincere and sustainable measures taken to act on student demands for accountability and transparency.

Real social change comes from hard work to address the underlying issues. Student involvement is vital in the fight for accountability and transparency on campus. Meaningful reform within DSU administration and its law enforcement departments must be led by student voices.

I urge you to listen and act NOW.


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