A University of Kansas Student Senate town hall about Title IX practices was canceled Tuesday night because of low attendance, but another opportunity is in the works for the spring semester.
The town hall was intended to give students a chance to ask KU administrators their questions about KU’s sexual assault prevention measures and the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. Vice Provost of Student Affairs Tammara Durham and Title IX investigator Tamarah Dixon were among those present at the town hall to answer student questions.
KU administrators are planning a similar town hall for the spring semester where both Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer and Chancellor Douglas Girod will be in attendance, organizers of the Student Senate town hall Tuesday said. KU spokesperson Erinn Barcomb-Peterson confirmed an event was being planned, and details will be shared when available.
In September, KU was embroiled with protests after a student said she was drugged and sexually assaulted by a man in a fraternity. Two nights of protests drew hundreds of students each night, followed by a 12-hour sit-in outside of administrators’ offices and a closed-door conversation with administrators about KU’s Title IX practices and measures to prevent sexual assault on campus.
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In less than four months, the office at the University of Kansas that receives and investigates reports of sexual and gender-based violence has undergone a rebranding and replaced all but one of its staff members — including the former director — unbeknownst to most of the KU community.
For two nights this week, hundreds of outraged students showed up at a University of Kansas fraternity house, demanding answers. The scene, filled with palpable anger and frustration, demonstrated a shift in how students think about and respond to sexual violence that organizers say was a long time in the making.