Rutgers recently announced that the university will do away with the two-year statute of limitations imposed on reporting sexual harassment on campus.
This change comes after a NJ.com investigation, which revealed that several students reported sexual harassment, but the university refused to investigate the reports. Rutgers claimed that the complaints were too old, even though some of the accused are currently teaching on campus.
Rutgers University’s president stated that the revision of the two-year complaint limitation was overdue, and victims of sexual harassment need to feel comfortable to come forward, regardless of when the incident occurred.
Additionally, he is currently reviewing the department that handles sexual harassment complaints, to make sure they have sufficient resources to provide the Rutgers community with an effective staff.
Empowered to Report
Due to the #MeToo movement, more university students are finding themselves empowered, and have gained the confidence to come forward to tell their story, as well as to make sure something is done about it.
However, it is not only students who are the targets of this misconduct. According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, nearly 58 percent of all college faculty and staff have been the target of unwanted advances or sexual misconduct sometime during their career.
According to NJ.com’s investigation, this is not the first time in 2018 that Rutgers has been called out. Last spring, six female professors formally requested changes to Rutgers’ sexual harassment policy, and many of these changes still need to be addressed.
Among the two-year statute of limitations, the other requested changes included:
- Privacy Issues: Due to current privacy regulations, victims of sexual harassment are often not notified of the status of their complaint and have no recourse if their complaint is dismissed.
- Unwelcome Rule: Although Rutgers does not prohibit romantic relationships between faculty and students, there is a need to check the abuse of power through defining what is considered “unwelcome” conduct. Offering better grades for sexual favors, for example, is never welcome.
- Applicability to Hiring and Promotions: As policy, all sexual harassment complaints filed on campus and in previous workplaces should be discovered and investigated before hiring or promoting an individual.
Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA)
Although all the requested policy changes have not been met, the VPVA is currently in the process of using an evidence-based research method to assess the climate with regards to sexual assault on the Rutgers campus. Their website currently supports victims by offering information on various types of assault, harassment, and sexual misconduct.
The VPA also provides a hotline and a quick website exit button for those who may be in immediate danger.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment on Campus
If you have experienced sexual harassment, assault on campus, or sexual misconduct in the workplace, contact a compassionate and discrete Middletown sexual harassment lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. today.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.