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Students unhappy with DSU efforts towards sexual assault policy, planning to attend budget hearings

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Brad Glazier
/
Delaware Public Media

Delaware State University students are preparing to continue their calls for changes to how the school addresses sexual assault on campus.

Students rallied last week on DSU’s campus, sparked by alerts of two separate sexual assaults. Students claim the university isn’t handling reported sexual assaults and harassment cases properly.

Student organizer MJ Carol is a sophomore at DSU and says students are no longer interested in demonstrations – they want policy change.

“We’re no longer focusing on demonstrating that we need change, we are acting upon that by going to the places in which we know the school is getting their support, and speaking how much we further need them to support not just the school, but the actual students, to allow for the resources of our schools that we’re paying to be implemented to protect students and keep them safe," Carol says.

Following last week’s protests and a Thursday night town hall meeting, DSU president Tony Allen sent a letter to students outlining initial steps to address their concerns. They include assigning a Deputy Chief Sexual Assault Awareness officer, upgrades security cameras and lighting across campus, and extending counseling hours.

But Carol says those actions don’t completely address student grievances.

“To really fortify the integrity of the Title XI process, we need correspondence officers, and we also need to make sexual assault cases time sensitive,” Carol says.

She says DSU students plan to move beyond campus demonstrations. They expect to show up at the school’s state budget hearing February 2nd at Legislative Hall and sit in at various DSU administrative buildings afterwards to “wait for change.” They are also reaching out to University of Delaware students to combat the issue together on both campuses.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.