Delaware State University to institute changes to sexual assault investigation process

DOVER — Following a student protest and petition regarding Delaware State University’s Title IX process, the university has agreed to several modifications moving forward and will hold a forum Tuesday.

Last week, Anissa Cartagena, a sophomore at DSU, held a march on campus after she told her story about her sexual assault and its handling by the university. She called for accountability and change.

Some of that change is coming: following the march, the university’s Student Government Association Integrity Administration met with DSU President Tony Allen and other administrators to call for immediate change in procedures.

“We were clear with Dr. Allen and his team that we stand with Anissa Cartagena and every student who has been a victim of sexual assault,” the Integrity Council said in a letter to students.

The university will hold the forum at 11 a.m. on their Youtube channel at youtu.be/-5e6M2QSZ9o.

Moving forward, the university will have students and administration review the Title IX process and will make a public statement of the findings that need improvement, according to a news release. The university committed to enhanced funding to the Sexual Assault Response advocate program and will also develop with SGA a “comprehensive prevention plan.” Lastly, it will conduct an annual campus climate survey.

Ms. Cartagena’s march last week brought together more than 30 people and started near Alumni Stadium and traveled to the center of campus. Her petition on Change.org, which has received just shy of 9,000 signatures, demanded conducting bi-annual campus climate surveys with published results, publication of aggregate data on sexual misconduct reports and access to sexual assault response advocates.

She also asked for the removal of the two staff members who handled her case, as well as better enforcing of no-contact orders.