NC A&T makes changes to how sexual assault reports are handled

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Thousands of North Carolina A&T State University students are back on campus for the new school year.

Students are starting classes as Chancellor Harold Martin works to restore confidence, reassuring students that sexual assaults are taken seriously.

In February, Martin called for a campus-wide Sexual Assault Committee that included students, faculty and staff to develop a stronger accountability process for addressing sexual violence.

Martin pushed for the committee after a student took to social media in February claiming she was raped at an off-campus apartment last November.

The student said she told her cheerleading coaches about what happened, but said her claims were not acknowledged according to protocol.

The committee created a series of recommendations, the chancellor says most of which, are in effect today.

Some of the changes are that Title IX will now report to the Office of Legal Affairs under the oversight of General Counsel, and a full-time director for Title IX activity has been hired.

“The student government association is also working with Title IX, so we have been working directly with the Title IX officer to make him accessible to students and he will even be doing office hours here in the Student Center to make sure that students get to know him, get to understand Title IX,” Student Government President Allison Gilmore said.

This past spring, all university employees were required to complete a Title IX training module.

Martin says a key change is an ongoing commitment to better train employees.

“We have to say in our training to our faculty and staff, ‘ask more questions,’ get more of the facts so that you then know to err on the side of caution, report the matter,” he said.

Student leaders are encouraged by the way the administration has brought them to the table.

“We were all trained on Title IX, what steps to take, who to go to, and what our role is as student leaders,” Student Government Attorney General Brenda Caldwell said.

“It's imperative that the students know that the conversation continues with actions being made as well,” brand ambassador and student government participant Phaizon Myers said.

According to the memorandum provided by university administrators, members of the University Police Department will receive additional law enforcement training this fall.

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