UNC task force moves forward with changes to sexual harassment p - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

UNC task force moves forward with changes to sexual harassment policy

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

A task force at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will move forward with rewriting the university's sexual discrimination and harassment policy.

In the latest in a series of meetings, the 22-member group -- comprised of deans, graduate and undergraduate students, professors, counseling professionals, and law enforcement -- honed in on a plan to move forward on Wednesday.

The proposed plan puts more weight on the investigators' preliminary findings. However, some said they are worried the policy would put too much pressure on investigators.

The interim Title IX coordinator said the policy would put less of a burden on the student and would allow the accused student to accept responsibility earlier in the process.

 "The university would bear more weight for the process which would take some from the reporting student, which I think is good because you don't always want the reporting student to drive the bus and be the fire in the engine," said Interim Title IX Coordinator Christi Hurt.

The Title IX task force meets again in November, and after that it will present their proposed new policy to the chancellor for final approval.

The Office of Civil Rights is investigating claims that the university failed to fully report its crime statistics. The investigation comes after the OCR received complaints about the University's response to sexual assault allegations.

The OCR says the complainants allege the University did not "provide appropriate grievance procedures regarding sexual harassment, including sexual assault/sexual violence," nor did it "provide adequate and impartial investigations of sexual harassment" or "provide appropriate training ... regarding sexual harassment, including sexual assault/sexual violence."

The investigation covers campus crime statistics from 2009 through 2011.

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