CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State’s President Eric Barron hosted a town hall on the afternoon of Monday, November 11, to discuss the university’s ongoing efforts around sexual misconduct on campus.
“There are no easy solutions to this issue, but our ambition is always to do better and continue to make progress,” said Dr. Barron.
A sexual misconduct task force formed in 2014 when Barron became president and he shared that since then, they’ve expanded educational support and programming, improved collecting and reporting cases, and formed a specialized office.
During the townhall, Barron was joined by:
- Suzanne Adair, associate vice president for affirmative action
- Stephanie Delaney, executive deputy chief, University Police and Public Safety
- Tamla Lewis, associate general counsel
- Danny Shaha, assistant vice president of Student Affairs
- Nora Van Horn, student in the Schreyer Honors College and member of the Schreyer Gender Equity Coalition
- Yvette Willson, interim director of the Gender Equity Center
Many of these university leaders said they believe there has been significant progress made at Penn State surrounding sexual misconduct response; however, they said there is still work to be done. For example, moving forward, they said Penn State must continue education and have ongoing conversations with students about what consent is.
“I’ve heard students believe that the university is not doing all that it can, and that historically, the university has not been a leader,” said student representative Nora Van Horn. “That being said, I think students are really hopeful.”
Van Horn said students are asking for three things from the university: correctly define sexual misconduct, invest in prevention efforts, and be more transparent.