In the wake of multiple sexual assault reports last week, Jamie Ball, Truman State’s Title IX officer, weighed in on the issue of sexual assault and how Truman addresses it from a policy standpoint.
Ball says the people involved in both cases as well as the circumstances were very different. Ball says there are many factors involved in sexual assault, especially on college campuses. Ball says some of these factors include alcohol consumption, sexual exploration and cultural changes brought on by the new generation of college students participating in “hook-up culture.”
“Truthfully, the evolving nature of how people relate to one another sexually in this day and age I think is playing a role,” Ball says. “Hook-up culture is a situation where people who don’t know each other particularly well [are] connecting sexually. Sometimes it works okay, but sometimes it’s a recipe for disaster because they don’t know each other and don’t have a track record for communicating.”
Ball says there are numerous steps that need to be taken when a student is sexually assaulted and visits her for support. If the University Non-Discrimination Policy, a policy which addresses all forms of sexual misconduct including sexual harassment and sexual assault, is allegedly violated, Ball says she gets involved. Ball says if a student has safety concerns relating to what happened Truman evaluates and addresses those safety needs.
“Our first and foremost priority is to help a student who’s been a victim of sexual assault with self care in terms of physical well being, mental health care and academic situations,” Ball says.
This story originally appeared in the April 28 edition of the Index. Be sure to pick up a copy on newsstands now.