Temple Student Government’s first Sexual Assault Prevention Week started yesterday, marking yet another effort from the university and students to fight sexual assault on campus.
It is encouraging to know that the Temple community has taken another step toward preventing sexual assault.
Last year, we applauded Temple’s partnership with Women Organized Against Rape. This addressed concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Education’s investigations into possible Title IX violations at Temple.
The Temple News found in Spring 2016 that there were exceptionally long wait times for sexual assault survivors’ case proceedings. In June 2016, Andrea Seiss was appointed to be Temple’s Title IX coordinator — the first time it was a standalone position at the university. Seiss is responsible for addressing sexual misconduct cases and educating people about Title IX.
She told The Temple News this week that collaboration with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and the university’s efforts have helped shorten wait times. Her team also meets weekly to discuss ongoing cases.
TSG’s Sexual Assault Prevention Week is just as important as Seiss and her team’s year-round efforts. Students need to pay attention to what they learn this week and educate others about how to prevent and report on sexual assault on campus.
TSG and the university as a whole also need to continue this discussion outside of regularly scheduled events, like WalkTU and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.
The momentum that this week will generate should be a yearlong initiative, because this isn’t an issue faced by students only during a certain week or month. There have been a lot of big steps made on campus, and we hope this is just the beginning.