Updated 03/09/2013 07:41 AM
UNC Faculty discusses handling of sexual assault cases
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
CHAPEL HILL -- In Chapel Hill, the topic of sexual assault continues to be discussed, both on campus and among the faculty.
"It's an unfortunate situation, but one that we are all deeply concerned and want to rectify," said UNC Faculty Council Chair Jan Boxill.
The issue came to light when UNC student Landen Gambill claimed she was raped by an ex-boyfriend who is also a student at the university. A university hearings board found him not guilty.
One week after students rallied on campus, the faculty turned its attention to the issue during Friday's Faculty Council meeting.
"We want to change the culture to make this a very safe culture so that women aren't afraid, afraid to speak out. They should never be harassed, period," said Boxill.
The meeting comes days after the US Department of Education's Civil Rights Office announced it was investigating how the school handles sexual assault complaints. Chancellor Holden Thorp addressed the issue in a campus-wide e-mail sent out Friday.
In it, he said he welcomed the investigation and said the school has made several changes in the past year and a half including implementing a new process that involves students faculty and staff that are trained to deal with sexual assault cases. UNC has also consulted with expert Gina Smith.
"We have compliant policies but there's a gap between policy and our student's perception of how we implement policy," said sexual misconduct expert Gina Smith.
Some students feel the e-mail message is a step in the right direction as the conversation about sexual assaults continues at all levels.
"I think that's taking responsibility for it, I guess, and I guess it's good that they're not just ignoring it," said UNC sophomore Kristi Stout.
Gambill has continued to speak out about the experience and faces possible punishment from the school's honor court because of what's been called "intimidating behavior" toward her ex-boyfriend.