UI lags in sexual misconduct info


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When a sexual misconduct is reported off-campus, UI officials choose not to release the specific location, despite disparities in policies among the UI and its peer institutions.

During this academic year, there have been eight sexual misconducts reported by students to UI officials, and one case reported by a non-student at Kinnick Stadium. Last year, 12 such incidents were reported.

Six of the eight reported misconducts occurred on university property, one was reported from an off-campus fraternity, and one occurred at the University Capitol Center. 

When the university sends out notices of sexual misconduct, it lists a general location, such as an “off-campus fraternity” or “in a residence hall” but does not list specific location the crime occurred.

The university is required to release warnings under the Jeanne Clery Act for certain crimes that occur on UI property or off-campus fraternities and sororities, as well as surrounding campus areas.

The Clery Act is a federal law that requires U.S. colleges and universities to disclose information on crime that occurs on or around their campuses, according to the Cleary Center.

Dean of Students David Grady said officials do not directly notify students who live in specific locations in which the misconduct occurs any further than the warnings.

He also said students would not know unless law enforcement was involved in the complaint.

In regards to a sexual misconduct reported on Oct. 4, which occurred at an off-campus fraternity, Grady said he did not know whether leadership in that specific fraternity was aware of the report because it is still currently under investigation by the Dean of Students Office.

Ryan Monkman, the UI president of the Interfraternity Council, said no information related to sexual misconducts is shared with the organization he leads.

“Any report of a sexual assault is handled by the university, and information is not given to the Interfraternity Council regarding specific details outside what every other student receives in the timely warning emails,” Monkman wrote in an email.

Monique DiCarlo, the UI sexual misconduct response coordinator, said it is certainly possible the dean of students could bring in a president of a greek chapter or housing officials if they have information relating to the misconduct.

But DiCarlo said her office, as well as the Dean of Students Office, only releases information on a need-to-know basis regarding sexual misconducts.

“It is really just case-by-case,” she said. “Information is shared as it is needed.”

But Grant Laverty, a member of UI President Sally Mason’s advisory committee on sexual misconduct and a member of greek life, said listing the name of the location doesn’t help anyone.

“If the university named specific houses, it wouldn’t get to the root cause,” he said. “What matters is the violence occurred on campus.”

Laverty also said by naming the locations where misconducts take place, it doesn’t accomplish anything but allow people to point fingers instead of focusing on preventing sexual misconduct in the first place.

Some Big Ten universities, however, release more information in regards to misconducts.

Steve Henneberry, a media-relations associate at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, said the university releases as much information as possible on the location where an incident occurs to help the surrounding area.

“Our philosophy is a well-informed community is an asset,” he said. “We have to make people aware of what is happening in the community.”

The university includes a map with an arrow pointing to the location all Clery Act releases, including sexual misconduct crimes, Henneberry said.

But other universities release less information than the UI.

Northwestern University is very tight with information regarding sexual misconduct.

The private university is strict with whom information is released to, said Njoki Kamau, an associate director of the women’s center at Northwestern.

“The complaint really only involves the individual,” she said.

Kamau also said housing or greek-life officials would not be involved with the judicial hearing unless they had information related to the incident.

David Visin, the associate director of the UI police, maintains information released in the warnings needs to be balanced.

“We try to balance the confidentiality and safety of the victim with the timely warning requirements,” Visin wrote in an email. “Also, information changes rapidly, and if we cannot be confident in the reliability of the information, then we have to be more general.”

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