Queens is now using a new protocol to handle sexual assaults on campus.
On Saturday September 10, students may have noticed they received an email they had never seen before. A Q-Alert had been sent out to all students informing them a sexual assault had occurred on campus.
The information about the incident itself was limited to one paragraph. The other 14 paragraphs of the email were about prevention, education, and awareness.
Queens is constantly in the process of evaluating sexual misconduct policies, said Title IX coordinator Rebecca Anderson. The administration noticed that some other universities around the country had been sending out notices for sexual assaults on their campuses, and liked the idea of doing it at Queens.
Generally, universities are required by the Clery Act to alert students immediately if there is a crime that poses a threat to students near campus. However, non-stranger sexual assaults are not included in this, said Anderson. Overall, this is part of a larger effort to work against sexual misconduct on campus, with a focus on education and prevention. The staff has been trained this year on preventing sexual assault on campus and how to respond to a sexual assault complaint. The Title IX team at Queens has been expanded, and now Amber Perrell serves as deputy Title IX coordinator to work alongside Anderson.
There will be a climate survey at some point that will give students an opportunity to share how they feel about their safety on campus and if the new effort is working. Anderson hopes that all of this will lead to greater awareness and an open discussion on campus about a normally uncomfortable topic.
“We have a collective responsibility to protect safety on campus,”Anderson said.
A previous version of this story stated that sexual assaults were not included in the Clery Act. This has been corrected to state that non-stranger sexual assaults are not included, as the Clery Act does cover other sexual assaults.