LoboRespect

April is “Sexual Assault Awareness” month, and provides the perfect opportunity to review where the University stands with its new LoboRESPECT initiative, which addresses sexual violence issues in a cohesive community-wide approach.

LoboRESPECT is the name of UNM’s comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to sexual violence in our campus community. In this context, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” stands for Respond, Educate, Support Prevent, Empower, Consent, and Train – the practices that will help all Lobos confront the issues that surround sexual violence. But it also addresses other areas such as hate/bias, hazing, alcohol abuse and other similar incidents.

“It is an effort to align and integrate many of the resources that are already offered and make them more easily understood and user-friendly, “ said Dean of Student Tomás Aguirre who headed Presidential Task Force that led to the creation of LoboRESPECT. “It will be used to ensure that students, faculty and staff receive the best and most consistent services at the University.”

The LoboRESPECT initiative is based on the C.A.R.E. model, an acronym that describes the key components that it addresses: Compliance, Advocacy, Response, and Education. Each component has a committee of representatives from across the campus working to update or implement programs to meet its requirements.

Over the past year, LoboRESPECT has launched an informational website, expanded the Sexual Misconduct and Assault Response Team (SMART), streamlined university policies and procedures related to sexual violence, and helped promote student-led educational campaigns.

 

Plans are moving forward on an advocacy center under the Dean of Students’ office.  It would be a “first stop” for victims of sexual violence to  utilize all of the resources available through the University and our partner agencies.

The Board of Regents has approved the budget for the center and the appropriate site will soon be secured. In addition, a LoboRESPECT subcommittee is developing training for a hotline and other services for the campus community.

The Regents also approved funding for a  dedicated Clery Officer position to ensure continued compliance with federal requirements to track and disclose crime on and near campus under the Clery Act.

An overarching campus wide policy on sexual violence and sexual misconduct is winding up a required 30-day review by the campus community.  It includes information for students, staff, and faculty on resources available following an act of sexual violence or misconduct; UNM responsibilities and responses; education and prevention programs; and possible disciplinary sanctions.

A team from the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be on campus Tuesday through Thursday, April 21 -23, as part of the agency’s review of UNM’s policies and procedures on sexual assault. During the visit, DOJ staff will be hosting forums for all students, student athletes, and those in Greek Life to discuss issues and concerns. 

The Schedule

Tuesday, April 21
6 - 6:30 p.m. – Focus group for ALL students
(including undergraduates, graduate students, survivors of sexual assault, campus activists and international students). 

Location: Amigo, Luminaria and Trailblazer rooms (SUB)

6:30 - 7 p.m. – Focus group for ALL students (including undergraduates, graduate students, survivors of sexual assault, campus activists and international students).
Location: Amigo, Luminaria and Trailblazer (SUB)

7 - 7:30 p.m. – Focus group for student-athletes
Lettermen’s Lounge, WisePies Arena aka the Pit

Wednesday, April 22
12 - 2 p.m. – Open Office Hours
Room: Cherry/ Silver

6 - 6:30 p.m. – Focus group for ALL students (including undergraduates, graduate students, survivors of sexual assault, campus activists and international students).
Location: Fiesta A & B, Jemez and Trailblazer/Spirit (SUB)

6:30 - 7 p.m. – Focus group for ALL students (including undergraduates, graduate students, survivors of sexual assault, campus activists and international students).
Location: Fiesta A & B, Jemez and Trailblazer/Spirit (SUB)

7 - 7:30 p.m. – Focus Group for Fraternities & Sororities
Location: Cherry/ Silver room (SUB)

Thursday, April 23
12 - 2 p.m. – Open Office House
Room: Jemez

“We are looking forward to meeting with the DOJ to share what we have accomplished and are currently working on,” Aguirre said. “We are also excited to learn about what we can do to improve our outreach and services to better serve all of the members of the Lobo community."

LoboRESPECT C.A.R.E. committees continue to meet on a regular basis to complete action items. The new policy will go into effect once the review period is finished on April 23. The advocacy center is on track to be up and running by the fall semester.

UNM leaders hope these ongoing efforts and dialogue will continue improve the UNM experience and increase the campus community’s awareness and sensitivity to sexual violence issues.