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UD announces sexual violence task force, conversations in wake of protests

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

The University of Delaware’s president has announced a plan of action in response to protests this week over gender-based violence on campus. 

The demonstrations were sparked by the arrest last week of a UD student and former fraternity brother accused of kidnapping and assaulting a female student. 

Many were outraged by what they saw as a slow response from the University, which first put out a statement Tuesday, only after a student protest, saying the student had been severed from UD and highlighting available resources. 

Protesters demanded systemic change at the University, including more education around gendered violence, and more consistent consequences for abusers.  

The plan President Dennis Assannis announced in a letter Thursday includes a task force of external specialists and internal stakeholders to make recommendations for improvements to the way the University handles safety, crime and sexual violence. 

Assannis said UD police will accelerate efforts to improve campus safety, and the University will hold an expert panel and listening session next week. 

Assannis also apologized for the slowness of the school’s public response.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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