St. Norbert College responds to student petition concerning sexual assault

DE PERE, Wis. - More than 200 students at Saint Norbert College signed a petition saying they're concerned with how the college responds to reports of sexual assault.

They sent that petition to the college president in April. This week, staff and faculty wrote a letter of their own. The letter is in support of the students; about 100 staff and faculty signed it.

The letter says there are, "Shortcomings to the college's response to sexual violence and other title nine issues."

But they did, "Acknowledge positive steps the administration is taking to implement changes."

Back in April, the student petition called for numerous improvements, including better training for staff and faculty, more support services for victims, better prevention of sexual assault, and more transparency and collaboration.

Saint Norbert College President Brian Breuss says he's taken direct action on nearly all the students' recommendations. 

"We have their wellness and their well-being at the center of our attention,” says Breuss. “And we know that if students have experienced or have seen any acts that have violated college policy or standards for behavior. we encourage them to come forward."

Bruess says some examples of improvements include increasing shuttle service, adding more educational programs and building a sexual assault survivor program on campus.

Bruess says there will be an external review of all title nine policies and improvements to programs on campus. He says that should be completed and made public in the spring.

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