Brian Sandoval, the president of the University of Nevada, Reno released a statement on Oct. 13 regarding Title IX allegations against the university.
In the statement released on Oct. 13, Sandoval told the “Wolf Pack Family” that the university cannot comment on the specific allegations due to ongoing litigation, but reassures the community that the welfare and safety of everyone on campus is their “most important priority.”
“I want to assure our University community that it is of the utmost importance we provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff and that all on our campus feel supported,” the statement said.
In the statement, the university reiterates that they recently hired Zeva Edmondson, the new director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX. Sandoval wrote that they are also trying to increase staffing, funding and a role restructuring to “better meet the needs” of the university.
“We are currently evaluating any barriers to reporting and engagement in Title IX-related matters,” the statement said. “We are also tracking and assessing the effectiveness of our Equal Opportunity and Title IX programs to ensure we are doing what is right for the campus while remaining in legal compliance.”
The university said they’re plan is to share non-confidential Title IX information through outreach this semester and an annual report will be shared with the Faculty Senate, the Associated Students of the university, the Graduate Student Association and the Nevada System of Higher Education, including their Board of Regents.
“I sincerely believe that these efforts will build trust in the area of Title IX on our campus,” Sandoval wrote in the statement. “This is a complex issue. It requires an all-encompassing approach … requiring equal amounts of accountability, empathy and collaboration.”
A recent initiative launched by students was calling for “justice” for Feifei Fan, a mechanical engineering professor at the university, who filed a lawsuit full of sexual assault allegations against Yanyao Jiang, another mechanical engineering professor, and another lawsuit against the university for alleged misconduct. The initiative united students together for this common cause, resulting in protestors taking over the new Mathewson Gateway Project business building unveiling on Thursday, calling for Title IX reform and for acknowledgement from the university.
Sandoval approached and spoke with protestors before the unveiling, encouraging others that there wouldn’t be “any effort to hide anything” and that the university was “committed to work” with the community and “make the Title IX office work for everyone.” Then he told protestors he had to “roll” to attend the ceremony.
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