Dear Carolina Community:
We are writing to update you on Carolina’s ongoing efforts to improve the way we address sexual assault and violence, and to share information about the new documentary film “The Hunting Ground” being discussed widely in the media and on campuses across the country. The film will debut locally in Chapel Hill on March 20 and is already in theaters around the country.
The documentary shows how the activism and courage of students across the nation, including two of Carolina’s former students, have helped drive change in the way colleges and universities respond to reports of sexual violence, as well as federal law. It is spurring important, passionate conversation about this topic, and we want Carolina and the progress we continue to make to be a part of that discussion. Campus organizations are working to bring the documentary to Carolina later this spring, and we will keep you informed about those plans.
We also want to share with you how much has been done at Carolina over the past two years, including expanding our resources for sexual assault survivors, improving reporting options and increasing awareness about counseling. We thank you for being a big part of that change. With your help, we’ve comprehensively revised the policy that covers sexual violence to more clearly define consent and improve adjudication procedures. We’ve added required prevention and awareness trainings for all students, faculty, and staff, and more than 34,000 of you have already taken part. If you haven’t participated in an online training and need assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (919) 966-3676. We also encourage you to visit the redesigned Safe at UNC website, which streamlines key information, including facts about about the revised policy, where to receive support and how to report violations. Your feedback this year will be used to improve all of these initiatives in future years.
We also continue to listen and learn about sexual assault at every available opportunity. Last month, for example, we attended a national conference on sexual assault at UC Berkeley, where we shared what we’re doing at Carolina and learned from other leaders. One of us participated in a similar ACE sponsored event for university presidents over the weekend in Washington, D.C. Next month, all students will be asked to participate in the Association of American Universities’ national sexual assault climate survey. The results of the survey will help inform our prevention and response efforts moving forward. We are proud of the progress we’ve made working together at Carolina, but we also know there is always more to do.
Your safety is our highest priority, and everything we’re working on — from prevention and training to counseling and support — is done with you in mind.
There will be many events in April to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we will keep you updated on those plans. Until then, please keep talking about these issues, and reach out any time you need us.
Carol L. Folt
Felicia A. Washington
Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement