BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Dec. 8, 2014)-- Indiana University officials have been closely paying attention to and discussing the controversy surrounding a Rolling Stone Magazine apology and an article detailing an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia (UVA).
Leslie Fasone, Asst. Dean for Women’s and Gender Affairs at Indiana University, said they have been monitoring what is happening at UVA and she said the typically monitor what happens at other universities.
“As each situation comes up, we’ll talk about it with our students. We’ll talk about it with staff and on campus. So, I think it (has) been part of our discussion. We just add it to the conversation (to) raise awareness and (we) watch and learn,” Fasone said.
One student said we can learn from the UVA/Rolling Stone situation. She said students should not feel discouraged to come forward.
“I think that is so rewarding for survivors and for advocates to feel like finally our voices are being heard and finally change is starting to happen and IU is a part of that change,” Rachel Green said.
IU offers a variety of services and programs for students. They have offered those services for years. This year, Fasone said, they have raised more awareness than before about resources available on campus.
“Through the years, I haven’t necessarily seen too much. Except for this semester, I have seen more things,” IU Senior Amber Harrison said.
Students like Amber Harrison have started to notice.
“I would say this (is the) beginning of something that could actually be kind of helpful for a lot (of) students on campus that wasn’t previously,” Harrison said.
The university has placed posters inside restrooms on campus with numbers to call and who students need to speak with, if they have an emergency.
“They (the posters) are in bathrooms and it’s all over the walls, but I think it’s because I live in the dorms and so they put it everywhere,” IU Freshman Brandi Harrison said.
Fasone said they have noticed more people, accessing their services. Rachel Green is involved with a number of those outreach initiatives like Culture of Care. Culture of Care focuses on prevention efforts at IU.
“It means that what we’re doing with awareness efforts is working. People feel comfortable. (They) feel like their voices are actually going to be heard,” Green said.
IU sent students a survey recently asking for feedback about information regarding sexual assaults on campus, how students feel the university responds, and other important topics. The survey will be reviewed spring semester. The university will then decide whether to make changes to their services they provide or add services.
“I think that’s a really big step that the university is taking (the time) to listen to students and hear what their thoughts are on this issue,” Green said.
IU officials said they want to do whatever they can to work with students, support them, and focus on prevention.
“Our students are our best voices on campus so really that’s (helping) us,” Fasone said.
If you would like more information, visit: care.indiana.edu or http://healthcenter.indiana.edu/counseling/services/sexual-assault.shtml.