University discusses national assault problem

Sexual Assault Awareness Week was hosted last week at John Brown University. During the week a documentary was shown on campus reporting.

It showed many schools are currently under investigation over how they have handled assault cases. JBU has clearly communicated that they take this problem seriously.

According to John Brown University’s Title IX, a federal anti-sexual discrimination policy, students who experience an offense can report to local emergency response or to a campus reporting officer.

Andre Broquard, dean of students and Title IX co-coordinator, said every faculty member is a responsible employee and is legally responsible to report a case of sexual assault to the University’s Title IX coordinator if they find out about one. He also said that JBU is “expected by our own Christian ideals and ethics to make sure this is a safe place.”

However, Nurse Rhonda Hostler and staff from the office of Christian formation and counseling center are considered confidential persons and they are not obligated to report cases to the University Title IX coordinator.

Broquard said it is important that students who may want to speak about a situation confidentially know who they can go to. He explained that if an assault survivor wants help, the confidential staff member can still help, but would only report if the student wanted to report and gave permission.

Broquard said he encourages students who have been harassed or assaulted to report the situation.

“We want to support them. We want to care for them,” Broquard said.

  Broquard also said students should not be afraid to report because there was alcohol or drugs present. If the situation surrounding the assault involved activity that is against the covenant, Broquard said the University will work with students who report, and encourages them to report sexual assault without fear of disciplinary action.