The University of Connecticut’s president, Susan Herbst, on Friday introduced steps the institution is taking to prevent sexual assaults and to provide more resources to students who are victims of crime, reports The Courant, a newspaper in Hartford.
A key part of the effort is the creation of a central contact point for crime victims. Ms. Herbst said in a letter to the campus that the new office would include staff members “who are specifically designated to work with victims of sexual assault as part of their duties.”
The university’s initiative stems from the work of a task force that Ms. Herbst formed last summer. Its recommendations are included in a report released on Friday. Ms. Herbst said the university would, in keeping with those recommendations, expand its programming on drug and alcohol abuse, among the other steps.
UConn, which has come under scrutiny over its handling of reported sex assaults, faces an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and a federal lawsuit filed by current and former students. The university denied many of the plaintiffs’ allegations in a recently filed response to that suit.
Ms. Herbst noted in her letter that “our work is never truly finished, particularly when it comes to the issue of sexual violence on our campuses.” She said the university’s practices must be “reviewed and reimagined” on a continuing basis.