First annual Northwestern sexual misconduct report released

Reporter: Kaitlyn Budrow

Exactly 179 students filed sexual misconduct complaints last year according to a report released by Northwestern in December.

This report is the first of its kind, numerically breaking down reported cases of sexual misconduct as part of the University’s effort to increase transparency.

“I think it’s a really important accountability step for the University,” said Amanda Odasz, Community Outreach Chair for Student Health and Assault Peer Educators.  “It’s a way for them to put their money where their mouth is and go beyond just saying they support survivors to actually providing direct evidence.”

Of all reports filed against students last year, 32 percent of complainants chose not to proceed with formal or informal resolution.  A total of 17 student cases were formally resolved last year.  Of those 17 cases, exactly seven resulted in expulsion while three cases found respondents not responsible.  Of the remaining cases, six respondents were put on disciplinary probation and one was suspended.

Northwestern Title IX coordinator Joan Slavin said in an email to NNN, “It is my hope that sharing the data will raise awareness about how reports of sexual misconduct are handled at Northwestern and continue to build trust in our complaint resolution process.”

While student activists are pleased with these new efforts, some say the University could be doing more to combat sexual misconduct.

“There’s always going to be room for the improvement,” said Dan Loizzo, President of Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault.  “Until every single student doesn’t have to face their perpetrator in a class, in a dorm, not enough is being done.”

Read the full report here.

President Obama comes home for farewell address


Reporter: Fallon Gallagher

CHICAGO – President Barack Obama returned to Chicago Tuesday night to deliver his farewell address. He emphasized the importance of unity and civic engagement, especially during the transition.

The president broke tradition by coming home to deliver his address from the McCormick Place Convention Center. The roaring crowd – many of whom had supported the president since the beginning – was enthused by his homecoming.

“It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss,” the president said.

Marca Bristo, an original supporter, said she felt proud President Obama delivered the address in Chicago and couldn’t imagine it happening anywhere else.

That enthusiasm remained throughout and after the speech as well. The crowd enthusiastically greeted the president with the chant, “four more years!”

This legacy speech that cited victories such as the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality also called the public to action.

“We didn’t write it with an eye to legacy, we wrote it with an eye to the future,” President Obama’s Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan (Weinberg ’02) said.

The president encouraged citizens to become guardians of democracy, urging them to take action for the changes they would like to see in this society.

Nine years ago he campaigned on a platform of change. At the end of his second term, President Obama told the people it’s their turn to be the change, telling them yes you can.

For more on the president’s final address, tune in to the Northwestern News Report Tuesday.