UNC sexual assault task force meets for first time today - WNCN: News, Weather

UNC sexual assault task force meets for first time today

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

A task force examining sexual assaults at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will meet for the first time Wednesday morning.

This is the first meeting in a series of weekly meetings the task force will have throughout the summer.

UNC has been under fire in recent months for their handling of on-campus sexual assaults. As a result, the school formed a 21-member task force to review the school's policies.

The university says the task force is a way to "review and enhance its policies and procedures for handling student-on-student complaints of harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination."

The policy was revised in 2011 due to new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

"I think there's always room for improvement," said Task Force chairwoman, Kristi Hurt.

The Office for Civil Rights is currently conducting a federal investigation into UNC's alleged mishandling of sexual abuse cases.

Hurt says the task force will incorporate feedback the university has received during recent months.

Last year, students and former Dean of Students, Melinda Manning filed a complaint alleging the university was under reporting sexual assault cases.

Hurt says the task force will "make sure we are doing all of our due diligence to make sure every case that the university is aware of is fully reported."

Hurt said the number of cases the university reports to the Department of Education, as required by law, could increase as a result of the task force.

The task force will present its recommendations at the end of the summer to Ann Penn, the university's Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act officer.

The university has created a web site where the public can follow the task force's progress and submit ideas and recommendations.

 

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