A group of sexual assault survivors and their allies met with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green a second time to present a list of changes to UNL’s Title IX process.
The group, called Dear UNL, had its first meeting with Green on May 20 to introduce their concerns about the university’s management of sexual assault complaints under the Title IX office. On Monday, June 10, the group met with Green to discuss the specifics of their five formal demands.
“Basically we framed these demands to empower survivors,” group member Giselle Nevarez said. “That was our main concern going about the composition of these demands — how can we make sure that survivors are receiving the best possible treatment at all stages of the process.”
The group asked for UNL to create a committee of appointed faculty and students that would oversee the management of Title IX cases at UNL, more clarity and transparency regarding a survivor’s rights throughout the Title IX process and additional staffing for the handling of Title IX cases.
The group also asked for more resources for survivor support and a more comprehensive, trauma-informed training program for all staff involved. The training would ensure staff have an “adequate understanding of the dynamics of sexual misconduct, the effects of trauma and how to interact with survivors,” according to the group’s website.
Many of the demands would involve further discussion so the group can talk through the details with Green.
“The main thing that we want is to remain involved,” she said. “We feel it’s very important to get that survivor input as the administrators are planning what they’re doing.”
Nevarez said Green was happy to walk through the demands with them, some of which Green said the administration has discussed previously. Additionally, she said Green agreed there needs to be more clarification on where sexual assault survivors can go for help.
The meeting ended with Green saying he needed time to review the demands, Nevarez said.
“I appreciate the bravery of this group and others who have come forward to discuss these difficult issues,” Green said in a statement.
Nevarez said the group plans to reach out to Green again in July after he’s processed all of the information.
In the meantime, Nevarez said people outside of the group can provide support by signing Dear UNL’s petition that calls on UNL to act on these demands or by sending an email to Green. Both of these tasks can be done through the group’s website.
“I really believe that everyone’s voice matters, and I believe in the power of community,” she said. “I want to let people know that this is important and they matter.”