The beginning of the fall 2021 semester was rife with protests and calls for change at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A report of an alleged sexual assault at the Phi Gamma Delta — FIJI — fraternity brought thousands of students to the steps of the Nebraska Union each night, demanding action by university officials to stop sexual violence on campus.
The Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board joined in these calls with an editorial published on Aug. 31 advocating for sweeping changes to the university’s efforts to prevent sexual violence. The FIJI situation was only the tip of the iceberg for sexual health and safety issues at UNL, and we wanted to dive deeper with our coverage. Just because the initial uproar has faded doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to focus on sexual health and safety on campus.
So, the DN staff has worked to bring you content, both in this magazine and on our website, that covers aspects of sexual well-being. With this project, we wanted to provide tips on keeping yourself safe, in-depth information on the mental health effects trauma can cause and personal encounters to keep the conversations around sexual health rolling.
It is our job as journalists to ensure there is transparency with every campus issue, including sexual health. It was clear to us that since sexual health isn’t covered widely, or even accurately, in schools, we had to step up.
We want to start a conversation on this issue, ensuring that accurate information is put out for students and readers to take care of their sexual health. We’re not claiming that this magazine is the Holy Grail of information about sexual education, health and violence. There are some topics we may not have thought to cover, or some that we wished we could cover but didn’t have the resources to do them justice.
This project is not the end of our commitment to supporting sexual health and well-being and ending sexual violence, and we are certain there will always be more information to share.
If there is something you want us to look into, or something you feel the university should be more forthcoming about, tell us your thoughts. Submit a Curious Cornhuskers question. Write a letter to the editor. Submit your own ideas or stories. Get involved, join our publication and be part of the process.
Stories that we’re presenting in this project aren’t going to be comfortable, and that’s the point. Just because these stories are no longer dominating campus discussion doesn’t mean that they’re not worth telling. In fact, it makes it all the more important.
We also realize and understand that some of the topics and narratives shared can be traumatizing for those who have undergone a similar experience.
The Daily Nebraskan is an advocate and ally for those who have, and we would like to note that the content presented in this project is sensitive and features explicit mentions of rape, sexual assault, sexual misconduct and associated trauma.
We know these are difficult topics, but they need to be covered. Our staff worked hard to put together this project for you, the reader. These stories not only still matter, but are also crucially important. We hope you feel so, too.