Taylor Johnson // Nevada Sagebrush
Students identify issues of sexual misconduct and assault on campus to Daniel Fred on Thursday, April 4. ASUN town hall is a way students can voice their concerns to staff and administration in hopes action is taken.

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada, held a town hall on Thursday, April 4, at the Davidson Math and Science Center to discuss sexual harassment on campus.

Students, faculty and community members were invited to share their concerns or ask questions relating to the topic. The event was also hosted and moderated by Daniel Fred, a university professor and Nevada Consent, Awareness, Relationship and Education for Students member. Around 30 students attended the event.

This is one of three ASUN town halls planned before the end of the semester.

ASUN created specific town halls based off the Wednesday, Nov. 7 Senate meeting. The primary issues brought up by students included sexual assault, accessibility and anti-Semitism. ASUN will be hosting a town hall discussing accessibility on Monday, April 8 and a town hall discussing anti-Semitism on Wednesday, April 10.

In November 2018, ASUN issued a sexual assault climate survey and found students wanted to have a support group for sexual assault survivors.

Patricia De La Hoya voiced her concerns regarding the transparency of sexual assault statistics. She also said she was told by Counseling Services there are not programs in place for students with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. De La Hoya is worried about how the Equal Opportunity and Title IX federal changes will influence how sexual assault is reported.

“I think the major words for me are prevention and accountability,” said De La Hoya. “I think bystander training should be required at orientation. I also think that part of the Hunting Ground should be played at orientation. I think accountability for punishing rapists [sic]. I don’t understand why rapists are allowed to come back there.”

Fred suggested the university provides a support center for sexual assault victims so students do not have to report incidents to Equal Opportunity and Title IX.

Some students suggested to reform sexual assault and misconduct programs during freshmen and transfer orientations so they are more engaging.

“The university can start by doing anything they possibly can to adopt the policy that other universities have done to address these issues,” said university senior Nora Prochaska. “It’s not just adopting policy but it’s also funding. Hopefully, this will fund the policy we already had. Title IX is an underfunded department. It slows down the entire process. Admit that there’s a problem. Administrators will do anything they can to ignore…and delay action when the people who care graduate and the people who might care stop caring because it’s summer.”

President Hannah Jackson mentioned ASUN is experimenting with town halls and they are willing to bring in administrator so students issue their concerns directly.

The Director of Legislative Affairs Katie Worrall shared ASUN, Take Back the Pack, Sexual Assault Support Services, the Office of EOTIX and NevadaCares are working together to host a sexual assault and rape culture teach-in program, which will be held Monday, April 8, from 6-8 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union.

Some students suggested using Take Back the Pack’s different policies and send it to university administration. Some of these policies include online harassment, defining verbal consent and optional privacy screenings. Other students suggested protesting.

Take Back the Pack is an organization created to address and reform UNR sexual assault policies and have published their policy reforms on social media. Several organizations were mentioned at the town hall who try and help sexual assault victims. These included Take Back the Pack and Nevada Cares. NevadaCares is an organization focusing on outreaching and educating students, faculty and staff on domestic violence. The organization has victims services, implementation prevention and educational services.

Taylor Johnson can be reached at tjohnson@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.