ASNMSU resolution denounces unsolved cases of sexual assault

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The 64e New Mexico State University Senate Student Associates passed Resolution 19 on April 29, which is a call to action for the Dean of NMSU Students to sanction cases of sexual assault unresolved and that sexual assault and harassment be a higher priority on campus.

Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments protects people from gender discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding, according to the US Department of Education.

Res. 19 states, under Title IX, the NMSU has the responsibility to take effective measures to end sexual misconduct and prevent it in the future. He also claims that there are five cases that have been sent to the Dean’s Office of Students that have no penalties so far.

“As senators, we are the voice of the student body. In writing this I am not only speaking for myself, it is I who am able to speak for other people who have not been able to. I think the issue of sexual assault or sexual harassment needs to be highlighted everywhere, ”said ASNMSU Senator Salma Lopez.

Laura Castille, Executive Director of the Institutional Equity Office of the NMSU, explained the process for handling sexual assault cases on campus. She said the OIE is responsible for receiving and investigating reports of sexual assault.

She said before the new Title IX regulations were put in place on August 14, after the OIE investigated, the Dean of Students would decide on penalties for student cases and that relations with the employees and labor relations of the human resources departments of the NMSU would handle the penalties for the employee cases.

“Now, from August 14, we are conducting an investigation and we have a hearing officer to hold a hearing on the case,” Castile said.

Castile acknowledged that there are still a few outstanding cases sent to the Dean of Students who have not been sanctioned.

“When I read the resolution, I thought to myself that I would also have concerns if I saw the number of unresolved cases,” said Ann Goodman, Dean of Students at NMSU.

Goodman gave his take on the cases that are still pending.

“We are not ignoring these cases. It is very frustrating for me as an advocate for both parties as I believe that the Complainant and the Respondent should find a solution in the fastest and most efficient manner possible, ”said Goodman.

She said the reason these cases have not been sanctioned is due to registration.

“Some of these investigations could take 11 to 15 months from the start of the complaint to the resolutions. During this period, the student left school. So we would have a number of cases that are pending because they are not currently listed and we cannot do a sanction hearing with someone who is not currently registered, ”Goodman said.

In this process, if the student who left NMSU decides to re-enroll, they are not allowed to re-enroll until the case is processed, according to Goodman.

“We emailed these students and that’s about it. They have been warned that they have a pending case and that they will not be allowed to return to school, ”Goodman said.

Goodman said those plaintiffs had a choice to involve law enforcement, even on campus.

She said the topic of sexual harassment needs to be discussed at the NMSU.

“It’s something that decreases throughout the year, in terms of when we talk about it, it becomes a problem when there is a problem in front of us and then it kind of falls off. I think we need to, as a university and as institutions of higher learning, we need to keep the conversations going on a regular basis, ”Goodman said.

To date, these five cases have not yet been sanctioned.



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