CHAPEL HILL – Christi Hurt, interim Title IX coordinator at UNC, says it’s a challenge at times getting the task force designed to keep your local campus safe to agree on definitions.
“I think the biggest term we worked on is the definition of consent and all of the different ways that consent can be withdrawn, the way that consent needs to be addressed at each subsequent sexual contact,” Hurt says. “Those sorts of nuances and specific issues, those are the things that have brought up the richest conversation of our group so far.”
Students and faculty continue to work through the summer to complete the school’s new sexual assault policy.
Hurt says the sexual assault task force spends half of its time on how to address sexual assaults on campus and half on what the definitions on the policy should be.
She says that there are no particular hurdles or issues of contention within the task force, but says the make-up of the task force itself lends itself to a difficult process.
“The challenge in the group is that it’s such a big and diverse group and it’s truly a wonderful group to have the privilege of working with,” Hurt says. “The challenge is then that everyone has a different side to each issue.”
At previous meetings, members of the task force said they hoped the sexual assault policy would be complete by the time school begins. Hurt says the committee would rather focus on making sure the policy turns out right than be speedy.
“So while we certainly have a lot of procedural and implementation changes on the ground and we’re ready for initiation this fall, I do believe that this task force will continue its work into the fall with recommendations coming out mostly in another couple of months,” Hurt says.
Still, she says the task force is making better progress with each meeting.
“Each meeting, we go a little bit deeper into each of those two topic areas and we’re making progress every time we get together on all of those fronts,” Hurt says.
The 23 member panel started work on May 1.