As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “What will UNL do to protect students of color and students from other marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ community after this election?”
The Daily Nebraskan reached out to both University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials and the UNL Police Department to obtain information both on promises the university has made toward diversity and inclusion efforts this year, as well as protections available to students should they be targeted through hate crimes or other acts.
UNL spokesperson Leslie Reed said the university has a “multi-dimensional approach that includes policing but expands beyond it.”
According to John Backer, police operations captain for UNLPD, several resources are available to students who experience harmful actions or speech by others, depending on the severity of the situation and the wishes of the targeted individual.
Not all harmful situations, he said, are a law violation. However, in all situations, UNLPD can determine if a law violation did occur, as well as conduct immediate safety planning with the student and assist in connecting the student with other resources on campus. If a violation did occur, UNLPD can also document these violations or pursue a criminal investigation if the targeted student wishes to do so.
Backer said UNLPD works with Student Affairs and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance to identify appropriate sanctions and campus safety needs. He also said the university has a trespass policy that can be applied if needed.
“The entire process is a collaborative one which aims to meet the individual needs of the student, and thus can take different forms depending on the situation and desire of the student,” he said.