Assault focus of final Roundtable

Butch McCartney

Sexual assault was the main topic of discussion at the semester’s final Chancellor’s Roundtable Wednesday night.

Questions arose concerning how UW-Eau Claire handles sexual assault issues.

“A lot of students are uncomfortable talking and dealing with the issue of sexual assault on campus,” said Justin Hentges, student body president. “We need to make the problem more aware to the university.”

Student senator Adam Nelson agreed.

“I recently just found out the shocking number of sexual assaults and violent incidents that get unreported,” he said.

The comfort level within the campus was brought up repeatedly during the discussion.

“Safety on campus is a huge concern,” Chancellor Donald Mash said. “We are currently raising the level of awareness of safety, as well as the number of women faculty members and female representatives within certain majors.”

Gender equality issues were also discussed, as attendees questioned what the university is doing to equalize the male-to-female faculty ratio in departments.

The Commission Status of Women produced drafts titled “The UWEC Focus for Action: Implementing Equality for Women in the UW System.”

The draft presented a series of goals that all UW campuses are focusing on to make their campuses better for female equality.

“We are trying to determine what to work at and to impose gender balance within the UW systems,” Mash said.

More than 25 students and faculty members attended the discussion, which Mash said was a typical turnout for the Roundtable discussions.

People from an array of organizations attended: a local radio station, many Student Senate members, members of the Affirmative Action Committee, the student body president and representatives of the Commission Status of Women organization.