Students and faculty discuss sexual assault at Town Hall meeting

A CSUN student talks to board about sexual assault
CSUN students line up to ask the board questions about sexual asasults at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)

Concerned students and faculty members gathered on Thursday, Oct. 22 for the Town Hall meeting to talk about the sexual assaults that have occurred in and around CSUN’s campus.

CSUN’s Chief Police Anne P. Glavin, Strength United executive director Kim Goldberg-Roth, and coordinator of Title IX Susan Hua were among the panelists answering questions from those in attendance.

CSUN students listen to baord of trustees talk about feature improvements regarding sexual violence at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)
CSUN students listen to baord of trustees talk about feature improvements regarding sexual violence at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015.
(Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)

Tara Wallace and Candace Williams, two CSUN students, opened the dialogue on behalf of the students by touching on the subject of educating students on sexual assault and safety.

“Like many others I didn’t initially take the Agent of Change seriously. We thought it was something we had to do to get our classes,” Wallace said, referring to the online course CSUN students had to take in order to lift the hold on their class registration.

Wallace went on to express that there should have been an option offered where students would learn from and become aware of the subject, and not perform solely for the reason of getting their classes.

Journalism and public relations professor Marcella DeVeaux asked the audience how many of them knew what to do if they were assaulted. Only 10 people raised their hands out of the many students filling the Northridge Center. Throughout the meeting students showed disappointment about the lack of information on resources, and poor communication between university and student body.

In response, panelists gave examples in what ways they were involved and provided information, and explained why in some instances they weren’t able to.

“Sometimes victims don’t report right away, so that’s a reason why things aren’t reported immediately,” Glavin said. “In the case of the Big Show, the incident was reported to the LAPD. We had to wait on them to get the information.”

Police Chief Anne P. Galvin answers questions about sexual assaults at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)
Police Chief Anne P. Galvin answers questions about sexual assaults at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)

Hua explained the process that follows a sexual assault incident, and what Title IX provides. “First we make sure the person is safe and gets support,” she said. Afterwards, the investigation continues on by talking to witnesses as well as the victim.

Glavin said the police encourages anyone affected to call in, so the police can thereafter provide different options for the person in question.

“We will meet you privately at a time and location of your choice, to listen, advise, and help you,” Glavin said.

Elsa Linares received loud applause from the students followed by silence from the panelists after declaring her disappointment on the lack of action and communication.

Miles Spencer asks board of trustees about services the campus provides for assault victims at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. (Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)
Miles Spencer asks board of trustees about services the campus provides for assault victims at the CSUN Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015.
(Betsy Belle Camacho/ The Sundial)

The meeting was hosted by CSUN’s Women’s Research & Resource center, and it ran longer than scheduled. Panelists promised to continue the discussion and make efforts in improving the communication with the student body.