By Ann Schnoebelen
To handle the difficult issue of sexual assault, with its serious personal and institutional consequences, campuses often turn to student-affairs or law-enforcement officials, but the American Association of University Professors says faculty members could play a more important role. In a nine-page report released on Thursday, the group outlines the scope of the issue and suggests ways to prevent and manage sexual violence, with an eye toward faculty responsibilities.
Faculty members, the report says, may “find themselves in the role of ‘first responders’ to reports of sexual assault, yet few consider themselves adequately equipped for the role—in part because they are the least likely campus constituency to receive information about sexual assault and guidance about reporting and responding to it.”
Generally, professors are not required under the federal campus-crime reporting law known as the Clery Act to report alleged incidents to the authorities, the AAUP says, but they should be familiar with institutional policies and procedures, and comfortable helping students who are sexual-assault victims consider their options…read more