July 29, 2015 · Take Back the Archive

Interview with UVA Orientation Leader, July 2015

Transcription of responses from an anonymous Orientation Leader at the University of Virginia when asked what/ whether sexual assault was addressed in the summer orientation for incoming students to the University of Virginia in fall 2015.
Tierney Vial
Take Back the Archive
Anonymous Interview with Orientation Leader Summer of 2015

Okay, so:

During training we were given a number of materials about sexual assault and had two sessions specifically devoted to discussions of that topic. First, we were given Green Dot training led by Nicole Thomas (with help from Sara Surface and one other University student [unfortunately I don't have her name on hand]). In a separate session, we met with a police officer from University police and Dean Nicole Eramo to discuss campus safety. During that session, Dean Eramo extensively went over what changes have been made to University sexual misconduct policies. Both sessions involved Q&As.

While these were the only official times during which sexual misconduct was our focus, the conversation permeated other parts of orientation training in less official ways. We also heard from the Women's Center, and while the focus of that session was not sexual misconduct, this session was certainly relevant to that. When Dean Groves came to speak with us, during Q&A sexual misconduct issues specifically as they pertained to Rolling Stone were discussed, and the JustReportIt system was explained. When we had a panel on student life which included Abe Axler, Caroline Herre and Brittany Hungate (Student Council, Honor and UJC, respectively), we discussed why Honor and UJC do not adjudicate sexual misconduct. Sara Surface was a fellow OL, so she offered her input and emailed out various resources, and when we practiced our responses for panel, we practiced answering questions regarding Rolling Stone and sexual misconduct.

Physical materials regarding sexual misconduct included sheets about Green Dot and new sexual misconduct policies.

With all that in mind, most of our training covered the resources the University offers in response to sexual misconduct and preventative tactics we can take as active bystanders, with an emphasis on explaining Green Dot to incoming first-year students. But, we did not have any conversations about definitionally what sexual assault is. While this was touched upon in Dean Eramo's talk (that the University adjudicates situations of unwanted sexual contact), the broader term was not really broken down.

I'm not sure if you're looking for an opinion, but in my opinion we effectively covered what resources the University has, the specifics of Title IX/our current policy, and had some conversations about our personal reactions to the Rolling Stone article -- but we did not sufficiently discuss what interactions fall under the label sexual assault.

Also, I realized I neglected to mention two scenarios in which sexual misconduct was also discussed: when Tim Davis from CAPS spoke to us and essentially led a discussion about all the events of this past year (he served more as a facilitator for us to voice our feelings in general). It didn't center around RS, but it certainly touched on that. Not sure if you think that's necessary to include but I didn't want to leave it out!

Original Format
Online interview
Tags , ,
Date Added July 31, 2015
Date Modifed August 12, 2016
Collection Rolling Stone article 11/19/2014, "A Rape on Campus"

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