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CU Boulder creates new sexual misconduct task force to prevent crimes on campus

cu boulder university of colorado boulder
Posted at 9:18 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 11:27:35-04

BOULDER, Colo. — CU Boulder students living in the University Hill neighborhood are taking additional precautions following a series of lewd acts and burglaries that occurred in the area over Labor Day weekend.

According to the Boulder Police Department, a man between 18 and 25-years-old entered each of the three female victim's apartments through an open door or window and performed lewd acts near them while they were asleep. The suspect is still on the run.

"We're now, like, dead bolting our windows shut," student Zoe Lanel said.

The incidents come nearly three weeks after a female student reported that a man grabbed her by the neck and sexually assaulted her in her dorm room after she answered the door.

Students told Denver7 they continue to address safety concerns with their peers in regular door meetings. CU Boulder is looking to protect students through its new task force.

CU Boulder created the Sexual Misconduct Task Force at the end of August to seek out best practices and interventions across the university to keep students safe.

The task force is made up of a variety of groups on campus, including the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), faculty affairs, and student affairs. It will use results collected during a campus sexual misconduct survey to create best practices regarding prevention efforts.

"As we look at the 2021 data, we know that we've done a lot of intervention since 2015," said Teresa Wroe, OIEC's assistant vice chancellor for prevention education.

According to the 2021 survey, which included participation from roughly 10,000 students, there were lower rates of nearly all forms of sexual misconduct except for stalking, which remained at nearly the same rates compared to previous surveys.

About 15% of undergraduate women reported being sexually assaulted since coming to CU Boulder — a drop from 28% in 2015. When it comes to sexual harassment, about 19% of undergraduate women reported sexual harassment, compared to 28% in 2015.

Graduate women, undergraduate men and graduate men reported lower prevalence of sexual misconduct compared to undergraduate women.

Those who oversaw the survey said many factors may have played a role in the results, including the shift to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data also showed that more undergraduate women are feeling more comfortable reporting when they were sexually assaulted. The 2015 report showed that 33% of undergraduate women did not report the incident to anyone. In the 2021 survey, 13% of undergraduate women said they did not report the incident.

Wroe said while these figures show an improvement, there's still a lot of work to be done in order to address sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

Students seeking confidential support of any kind within the CU Boulder community can visit the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance's website for various resources.