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New sexual assault notification system proposed

K(now), in conjunction with Brothers of Diversity, presented a petition to administration with 643 signatures

Brandon Bell
Staff Writer

Kn(o)w has presented a petition to the Dean of Students Office proposing the creation of a campus e-mail notification system for incidents of sexual assault. Under the proposed system, the campus would be e-mailed general information about the number and type of incidents that occurred on campus each month.

Kn(o)w, a student organization dedicated to promoting awareness of sexual assault and advocacy for survivors, presented the petition in November, although it has been negotiating with campus administration on a warning system for over a year. Members of kn(o)w also serve as student members of the College’s Working Group on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.

With the help of Brothers of Diversity, kn(o)w received 643 signatures from students, faculty and staff in support of the proposed system. Tiffany Trunk ’17, president of kn(o)w, said that recent incidents of sexual misconduct, both on campus and around the nation, motivated them to create this latest initiative.

Under the Jeanne Clery Act of 2008, U.S. colleges receiving federal funding like Wooster must issue “timely warnings” when certain crimes — like incidents of sexual misconduct —are evaluated to pose a danger on campus. However, colleges are given room to evaluate the danger posed by each incident. Most incidents at Wooster are only reported in an annual security report. By providing consistent statistics each month, kn(o)w wants to allow students to make more safety decisions.

“Students can always benefit from more information,” Trunk said, noting that their goal was to create “more transparency between students and the administration” about sexual misconduct reports.

One of kn(o)w’s primary concerns in planning the proposed system was protecting the privacy and anonymity of survivors. For this reason, their proposed report would contain a tally of the total number of incidents in the report, separate from a listing of individual incidents. If a survivor reported an incident confidentially, the incident would only be included in the tally. Reports not made with the same level of confidential

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